Portage Landfill and Development Co. in Rootstown, which stopped operating in 1989, will finally get a clay layer put on this year to stop the possibility of contaminated rainwater leaching into Breakneck Creek.
This week the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued an award letter to CTI and Associates Inc. to do the work at the private landfill located south of Tallmadge Road in Rootstown on the Brimfield line.
Expenses for the project are estimated at $1 million with funding coming from a trust fund set up when the landfill owners and the state reached a settlement in 1998, and the state's 281 Environmental Remediation Fund.
The orphaned landfill program (Fund 281) was established as a money source to clean up sites where the OEPA director "has reason to believe there is a substantial threat to public health, safety or the environment." Money comes from enforcement actions, bankruptcies and other actions under the ORC.
According to OEPA, work is expected to start in mid-July and be done by the end of October.
The work will spread about 100,000 cubic yards of donated soil from adjacent property owned by Waldo Sober on top of the 50-acre landfill.
Drainage channels, leachate outbreak controls and a security gate will also be built, and the area reseeded to establish grass cover.
The soil was donated as part of the 1998 settlement between the landfill owners and the state after the Ohio attorney general sued because the landfill hand never been properly closed.
DuWayne Porter, now head of the Portage County Health Department, was head of the department's environmental health division at the time of the settlement. The health department regularly inspects Portage Landfill and other closed landfills in the county.
"There were some problems, some erosion and exposed trash" at Portage Landfill, Porter said. "There was some leachate," which is rainwater that gets through the surface and picks up contaminants from buried garbage and then leaks out of the landfill, which is adjacent to Breakneck Creek. The creek feeds into the Cuyahoga River near Kent.
Porter credited the OEPA Central Office for keeping after the issue through the years to get the landfill properly capped.
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