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Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Stickney landfill, state settle on plan after fire

Temporary storage area requested

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Toledo firefighters work on fire at a Stickney Recycling debris pile in Toledo.
Toledo firefighters work on fire at a Stickney Recycling debris pile in Toledo.
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Lawyers representing North Toledo’s Stickney Recycling came up with a four-point plan Tuesday to address problems after a fire burned for days at the facility.

A settlement negotiated over six hours with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office calls for Hemisphere Ltd., Stickney West C & DD LLC, Stansley Mineral Resources, and Stickney Holdings LLC to cover the dump with 12 inches of soil.

The companies also will probe for carbon monoxide and any other evidence of lingering combustion, provide an updated survey to state health and environmental regulators about the site’s capacity, and do more air monitoring for asbestos fibers.

Stickney Recycling is a construction and demolition debris landfill at 4425 Creekside Ave. that had been on fire for about two weeks until Monday.

The fire had an elevated level of risk because, in addition to normal pollutants from construction debris, the landfill has been used to dispose of materials containing asbestos, a fibrous material linked to a lung cancer. It can be triggered by inhalation of only one fiber.

The compromise was announced by attorneys before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings.

The morning began with Judge Jennings ready to proceed with a hearing she had granted state attorneys on their request to permanently halt waste shipments in response to a series of outstanding violations which led up to the fire.

Robert Eubanks, an Ohio assistant attorney general, said the two sides will re-convene via conference call within 48 hours to consider the operators’ request to build a temporary storage area for incoming waste shipments.

The companies want to build that so waste could continue to be delivered, maintaining the site’s cash flow. Such waste would be held until the next cell at the landfill is constructed and licensed.

The companies have offered to put $1 for every ton that is temporarily stored on site into an escrow account. The money would be returned to the site owners once the new landfill cell is completed and approved by the state, said Michael Cyphert, a Cleveland attorney representing the landfill owners and operators.

Mr. Cyphert said he was not sure when that cell would be completed. The companies believe the recent fire was arson, he said.

Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago has said the cause is unknown.

Eric Zgondzinski, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department community and environmental services director, said at a news conference Monday his agency has assembled an “extensive file” of violations against that site.

Although soot and odor problems were reported throughout the weekend, area residents got lucky because wind appeared to have kept the worst contaminants from reaching them, Mr. Zgondzinski said. Results on other samples are pending.

Harold Caldwell, a Jeep subcontractor, said in an email to The Blade that some workers went home sick on Saturday from smoke exposure.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com or 419-724-6079.



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