Pa. DEP orders municipal authority to eliminate pump station odors

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WILLIAMSPORT, PA, July 14, 2009 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the Greenwood Township Municipal Authority in Columbia County to submit a new plan and schedule to eliminate odors from its Iola pump station.

"DEP continues to receive odor complaints from residents who live near the pump station, and our inspectors have confirmed that the bad odors are present," said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell.

In a June 19 notice of violation letter, DEP told the authority it was violating the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act, and requested a written corrective action plan and schedule be submitted by July 3.

The authority submitted the plan July 2, but DEP rejected the proposed solution, which was to stop accepting wastewater from the White Pines Landfill for two weeks, re-order lids for manholes in the area and make unspecified attempts to seal the pump station.

The order requires the authority to conduct an engineering evaluation of its pump station within 30 days to correct the odor problems; evaluate the existing landfill leachate treatment agreement within 30 days to determine if changes are necessary; and submit a plan and schedule to eliminate the odors to DEP within 60 days.

The April 2000 landfill leachate treatment agreement was signed by Millville Borough, Millville Municipal Authority, and White Pines Corp. It authorizes White Pines to discharge a maximum of 50,000 gallons per day of leachate from the landfill into the authority's collection system and Iola Pump Station.

During summer of 2008, the Greenwood Township and Millville Borough areas experienced significant odors from the Greenwood Township Municipal Authority's Iola pump station and Millville's collection system.

DEP's investigation determined that the odors were caused by a number of factors, including poor collection system integrity, a lack of odor control at the pump station, and the influence of leachate from the White Pines Landfill.

Numerous meetings were held by DEP with Millville, Greenwood Township and the landfill to correct the problem. Since then, significant pre-treatment changes have occurred at the landfill and the Millville collection system integrity problems were corrected.

However, the odors have returned this summer around the authority's pump station, prompting DEP's latest action.

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