What hazardous waste was accepted at Veolia’s Pecan Row Landfill that got a $27,500 fine from GA EPD this January? Veolia is ADS now, the same company to which Lowndes County granted an exclusive franchise for waste pickup. We already knew that landfill accepts coal ash from TVA. What else is in there, seeping into our drinking water aquifer, and with runoff going into the Withlacoochee River?
According to GA EPD,
Under authority of the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act :
Facility: Veolia ES Pecan Row Landfill/Valdosta; order issued to Veolia ES Pecan Row Landfill, LLC Location: Lowndes County Order Number: EPD-SW-2564 Date of Issue: January 30,2013 Cause of Order: Violations of Rules for Solid Waste Management/regulated hazardous waste acceptance; failure to properly conduct inspections Requirement(s) of Order: Implement plan to prevent acceptance of regulated quantities of HW and PCB wastes at facility; ensure all employees handling waste recognize/identify labeled HW and PCB wastes at facility Settlement Amount: $27500.00
According to U.S. EPA, Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB):
Why it matters that PCBs are in that landfill, also according to US EPA:
PCBs have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects. PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals. PCBs have also been shown to cause a number of serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other health effects. Studies in humans provide supportive evidence for potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects of PCBs. The different health effects of PCBs may be interrelated, as alterations in one system may have significant implications for the other systems of the body.
Prior to the 1979 ban, PCBs entered the environment during their manufacture and use in the United States. Today PCBs can still be released into the environment from poorly maintained hazardous waste sites that contain PCBs; illegal or improper dumping of PCB wastes; leaks or releases from electrical transformers containing PCBs; and disposal of PCB-containing consumer products into municipal or other landfills not designed to handle hazardous waste. PCBs may also be released into the environment by the burning of some wastes in municipal and industrial incinerators.
Once in the environment, PCBs do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water, and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found in snow and sea water in areas far away from where they were released into the environment. As a consequence, PCBs are found all over the world. In general, the lighter the form of PCB, the further it can be transported from the source of contamination.
PCBs can accumulate in the leaves and above-ground parts of plants and food crops. They are also taken up into the bodies of small organisms and fish. As a result, people who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting.
We need to know what’s in that landfill.