But the board that oversees operations says that problems at the new landfill being built just outside Havre have been resolved.
An adjacent landowner disagreed. George Powers said the problems already have cost him $10,000 in lost wheat.
DEQ sent the Unified Disposal Board, which administers the landfills for the three-county area — Blaine, Hill and northern Chouteau counties — a letter June 30 saying six violations had been found in an inspection. The letter requested a response by July 29 telling what had been done to correct the violations found during an inspection of the site, or a timeframe and description of what would be done. Jenny Chambers, chief of DEQ’s Water Protection Bureau, said this morning that the bureau has not yet received a reply that letter.
Chambers said the violations were found during an inspection on compliance with regulations dealing with storm water management at the site. A second letter detailing possible penalties and again requesting a response could be sent if a reply is not received, she said.
Penalties that could be assessed if proof that the violations have been corrected is not provided would be determined by DEQ’s enforcement division.
The citations listed in the letter from DEQ were that the district employees had failed to maintain proper records and copies of permits; failed to submit required permit application information when permit modification was due; failed to conduct inspections; failed to install best management practices; failed to properly operate and maintain best management practices; and failed to develop an adequate storm water pollution prevention plan.
Hill County Sanitarian and Planner Clay Vincent said this morning that the issues identified have been dealt with.
“Ours was basically taken care of, there, ” he said. “I don’t really have any concern at all. ”
But Powers, who owns land next to the site, said he does have concerns. Powers said water from the landfill was dumped on 30 acres of his land, effectively costing him $10,000 from loss of a 35-bushel-an-acre harvest on the land and $100 an hour for six hours the man planting his crop wasted trying to get his tractor out after it was stuck.
“They resolved their issues by dumping water on private lands, ” Powers, who has filed a lawsuit contesting the county’s right of way for a road from U. S. Highway 2 to the landfill which crosses his land, said this morning.
Powers said he had spring wheat planted on his land in the area that yielded 35 bushels an acre — but lost that on the 30 acres next to the landfill site due to the water from the site that soaked his land.
Vincent said he felt bad about the problems it caused, but the county employees pumping the water didn’t realize that would keep people from accessing the farmland — it was being pumped out and ran through a ditch, he said.
“All he had to do was say, ‘quit pumping some storm water, ’ and we would have quit …, ” Vincent said. “I apologize for it. We could have worked with him and not had a problem at all, but nobody said a word. ”
Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette said last week that the problems arose due to the high level of snow, rain and runoff, and that Vincent and the landfill employees have resolved those problems.
“Most of it is all dried up …, ” she said. “There was a lot of runoff. It was part of the flood damage. ”