Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Headline: COURT CLOSES BROOKE COUNTY SLUDGE FACILITY
Byline: PHIL KABLER
A sewage sludge composting facility in Brooke County has been ordered shut down for the second time in 18 months, after complaints from neighbors,
Attorneys for Valero Terrestrial Corp. agreed to shut down operations at the Brooke County Landfill, following two days of hearings in Brooke Circuit Court last week.
The court closed the 196-acre composting facility in July 1996, citing the malodorous operation as a public nuisance. It reopened in February 1998 after the company installed bio-filtration equipment.
Poor maintenance and continued hot temperatures caused that system to fail, Senior Assistant Attorney General Rex Burford said Tuesday. That prompted numerous complaints from neighbors of the landfill, located between Weirton and Follansbee.
Burford, who obtained the 1996 injunction against operators of the plant, represented the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority at last week's hearing.
Under the agreement, the composting facility will not receive or process any additional sludge until Nov. 15, The facility will be allowed to landfill about 3,000 tons of sludge on-site,
The company, owned by Pat Mascaro, has until the Nov. 15 deadline to show that it has corrected problems at the Brooke County facility or face a possible permanent injunction.
Besides repairing and upgrading existing odor-control equipment, the agreement requires the company to install a misting system and to develop special summertime rules for the facility.
Burford said even a well-maintained system would be overwhelmed by continuous days of near-100 degree temperatures. An inspection by the state Office of Air Quality found weeds in some of the filters, according to the hearings.
"With just basic maintenance, they probably could have avoided all this," Burford said
To contact staff writer Phil Kabler, call 348-6193.
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