Key Facts About Sunny Farms Landfill
Compliance with Environmental Regulations and the January 31, 2019 Ohio EPA Orders
Sunny Farms is fully regulated by the Seneca County General Health District and Ohio EPA. We are operating in full compliance with applicable environmental regulations and the Ohio EPA agreed Orders issued on January 31, 2019. We will continue our compliance moving forward. The January 31, 2019 Ohio EPA Orders include standards and requirements that meet, and in many cases go beyond, the federal U.S. EPA standards required for landfill operators across the country.
Our goal always is to be in full compliance with all rules and regulations applicable to our landfill facility. We pledge to maintain and go beyond that compliance. Sunny Farms is operated by a management team with over 30 years of experience in landfill oversight and operations and in accordance with nationally accepted industry standards and practices.
Significant Environmental Protections
Sunny Farms accepts only municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris. Sunny Farms does not accept hazardous, infectious or toxic wastes. We conduct comprehensive screening to prevent hazardous, infectious or toxic waste from entering the facility. There are significant environmental protections in place at Sunny Farms including:
- A bottom liner of thick, compacted clay and a dense plastic layer prevent contaminants from entering the ground or water below the landfill. The agencies confirmed at the public forum that there has been no impact to ground water from the landfill.
- A network of pipes and pumps collects landfill water so it can be transported for treatment.
- Clean soil cover is applied daily at the landfill to keep waste in place and reduce the potential for odors.
- Landfill gases are collected by a vacuum piping system before they can escape the landfill.
Response to Citizens’ Concerns
At the February 13 public forum, some citizens expressed concerns that their health could be affected by odors. While odors sometimes can be unpleasant, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is not a health or environmental threat at the levels observed. As the Ohio Department of Health Fact Sheet states: “It is important to remember that even though you may be able to smell H2S, it does not mean you will have health problems because of it.”
Frequent Odor Monitoring at Sunny Farms and in the Community Every Day
Sunny Farms’ staff checks for potential odors at the landfill several times each operating day. We maintain a hotline and actively follow up on every call we receive. We investigate odor complaints and dispatch personnel to reported locations with hydrogen sulfide measuring equipment.
Sunny Farms has ordered permanent monitors to test for hydrogen sulfide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the landfill. These monitors will be installed within the coming weeks. Weekly reports will be provided to Ohio EPA and the Health Department that include the date, time, location, and level of H2S detected for each reading. Sunny Farms also conducts weekly surface emission monitoring at the landfill and reports the results weekly to Ohio EPA. The odor monitoring requirements in the January 31, 2019 Ohio EPA Orders include odor monitoring standards that are substantially more stringent than requirements for many other landfills in Ohio and nationally.
Substantial Investments in Odor Control Technologies
During the last several months, Sunny Farms has invested more than $4 million in new technology, new equipment and new processes to reduce hydrogen sulfide.
- Hydrogen sulfide treatment system: The H2S treatment system is designed specifically to control hydrogen sulfide gases. Selection, design and procurement began in September. The system arrived and installation began in December. The system consists of vacuum boxes filled with a material that removes hydrogen sulfide from extracted landfill gas. Four vacuum boxes are now operating and effectively collecting and removing hydrogen sulfide. The system allows for enhanced landfill gas collection.
- Capping project: The capping project includes placing clay and an impermeable plastic liner over a 22-acre portion of the landfill that has reached capacity. This permanently seals that part of the landfill, keeping moisture out and keeping gases from escaping. The capping helps control potential odors by sealing gas underground and enhances landfill gas collection so it can be more efficiently routed to the gas collection system. Capping is well underway now and scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2019.
- Expansion of gas collection system: We recently expanded our gas collection system on the southern portion of the landfill. This doubled the number of gas collection wells on the southern portion to 26 and nearly doubled the number of horizontal collector pipes to 27, bringing the total number of landfill gas wells to 98 and the number of horizontal collector pipes to 36. An additional 21 gas collectors and vacuum piping network will be installed beginning in March 2019. A second flare has been activated to allow for continuous operation of the gas collection system during routine maintenance. Back up power generation has been added to ensure continuous landfill gas collection and destruction in the event of a power outage.
- Wastewater treatment system to remove hydrogen sulfide: A pilot system was built in 2018 to remove H2S from landfill wastewater. Chemical treatments proved very successful. All leachate is treated to remove H2S prior to disposal. Sunny Farms will build a permanent, full-scale plant after regulatory approval.
Sunny Farms’ Outreach and Commitment to the Community
We’re making investments in Sunny Farms because we intend to be here for the long term. We want to be a good neighbor and a good partner to this community. Sunny Farms is committed to community outreach and providing citizens with the information they need regarding our landfill facility. We recently upgraded Sunny Farms’ website which is available at sunnyfarmslandfill.com. The website will be updated regularly to provide new information on Sunny Farms’ odor control measures and ongoing compliance.
Sunny Farms makes significant tax contributions to the community every year, providing revenue for schools and essential city services. Sunny Farms provides good jobs for 50 good people who live in and care deeply about this community. It has been a privilege to join with others to support local organizations including: Tiffin Fire/Rescue Division; Bascom Volunteer Fire Department; Hopewell-Loudon School; City of Fostoria (July 4 fireworks, Halloween parade); Fostoria Moose Lodge 1567; St. Wendelin Parish; Seneca County Fair (livestock auction); Great Lakes AAU Basketball; P.M. Gillmor Community Park and Northwest Ohio Regional High School Football (East vs. West All-Star Football Game). We look forward to working to continue supporting our community in 2019.