Landfill manager Casella Waste Systems cited with four violations at the site

SENECA — A federal inspection at the Ontario County landfill this year found four violations affecting worker safety. Landfill manager Casella Waste Systems Inc. received the citations in July following an inspection in April by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

At issue: An inadequate berm; an unsafe fuel hose; a dusty truck cab; and a broken seat belt.

Dan Tilden, Casella regional safety manager, told a county committee Monday all the violations were initially labeled as “serious” and resulted in fines, with two of the violations later downgraded to being “other than serious.” All were corrected, he said.

Members of the Planning and Environmental Quality Committee questioned Casella representatives about the faulty berm. Mark Clinker, Casella operations manager, called the berm requirements “a preventative measure.” Berms are barriers built within the landfill. Clinker said Casella will be more conscious of maintaining stable berms. There are a lot of changing roads and movement in the landfill, he said.

In all, the four penalties cost Casella $16,706. That was less than the original total tagged on the fines of $25,571. There were no injuries.

The committee also heard from Amy Dill, Casella regional engineer, who updated on construction work and odor control at the landfill in the town of Seneca. Per state Department of Environmental Conservation request, Casella is monitoring odor control at seven locations three times a day and reporting results weekly to the DEC and county, Dill said. Due to odor coming from the east side of the landfill, Casella is installing six additional gas wells and replacing seven or eight others, she added.

On construction of the new cell, she said hauling of clay should end soon and that should cut down on truck traffic due to the project.