PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The Tri-Cities landfill is officially shut down, and according to the Virginia Department of Environment Quality (DEQ), the news comes after multiple waste management violations.
So what does this mean for residents in the area?
It’s a rare occurrence, according to the DEQ. The department’s Director of Central Operations told 8News they haven’t revoked a license in about 20 years. But after multiple chances to fix the issues were given, officials say the problems never got resolved.
“It can become a nuisance very quickly and that’s a problem for folks that live around the landfill,” said Jeff Steers, DEQ, Director of Central Operations.
Steer says the department found multiple compliance issues including failure to cover exposed waste, too much trash intake causing steep slopes and health concerns.
“We had methane violations there was landfill gas getting to high levels at the facilities boundary which is a very serious thing because that could lead to explosions in neighboring homes and businesses,” Steers said.
It’s why the DEQ shut down the facility.
“I know there’s concerned with people losing their job, and what have you, but we’re charged with protecting the environment,” Steer said.
Container First Services say they’ve operated in compliance with DEQ’s orders and regulations. They shared with 8News that they’re prepared for a long legal process and committed to winning.
DEQ says they tried to work with the company, but now – they’re run of options.
“I think this demonstrates that DEQ is serious about dealing with a pattern of noncompliance and abuse to the environment as this company was doing for the past decade,” Steer said.