DEP issues nearly $600,000 fine against Lackawanna County dump

DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The state has ordered a dump in Lackawanna County to pay up after failing to control the bad smells coming from the property.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a nearly $600,000 penalty fine against the Keystone Sanitary Landfill, the largest civil penalty issued by DEP within the last 10 years, but the odor has been a problem for the past 40 years.

$575,000 is the amount the Keystone Sanitary Landfill is being penalized due to violations, which include multiple failures to implement plans that control and prevent odors, gas control, air pollution and not keeping things clean and checked as they should.

After the landfill pays the penalty, the money will be split between DEP and the boroughs of Dunmore and Throop.

According to the Consent Order and Agreement, both boroughs must put the funds towards environmental projects.

Substantially improve, protect, restore or remediate the environment, or which improve, protect or reduce risks to the public health or safety.

Consent Order and Agreement

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Some community members in Dunmore believe this penalty will push the landfill to make some changes

“We’re talking about people’s health, their lungs, long-term effects, children being born into it and breathing it so it has to do something to force them to do it,” said Dunmore resident Bob Rainey.

While others think the penalty fine is a little extreme.

“I’m sure they’ll look into it and see what they can do about it, but again I just feel that it’s a little extreme,” said John Errico of Dunmore.

Friends of Lackawanna, a non-profit working to protect the health of Lackawanna County, feel the violations are a step in the right direction, but environmentally, not the end of the fight.

“I think what this shows more than anything is that landfill should not accept one more ounce of garbage, It’s already dangerous and more garbage just makes it more dangerous it’s going to require vigilance forever and I don’t think that’s fair to ask a community to do,” said Friends of Lackawanna Board Member Michele Dempsey.

The DEP will continue to monitor the Keystone Landfill to make sure the landfill is reducing the odors and if they fail to meet the terms they agreed upon with DEP, the landfill will face further penalties.

28/22 News has reached out to Keystone Landfill multiple times, but has yet to hear back from them.

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