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Published: Wednesday, 2/9/2005

Oregon: Ohio EPA says safety an issue for landfill

If officials from the Envirosafe hazardous waste landfill in Oregon still want to increase the height of their active-waste pit, they will have to revise their design to increase safety for slope stability.

Envirosafe initially asked the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in January, 2003, for permission to increase the height of Cell M, the active landfill cell south of York Street, by 70 feet. If approved, the total height of Cell M would increase to about 120 feet.

The Ohio EPA recently told Envirosafe officials that they would need to meet the desired 1.5 factor of safety before the Ohio EPA would consider granting them a draft permit, said Dina Pierce, spokesman for the Ohio EPA.

As proposed, the slope stability for the Envirosafe expansion has a 1.3 factor of safety.

"A 1.0 is stable, but there's no margin for error there," Ms. Pierce said. "We want to have more than the minimum."

Oregon City Council has been opposed to the expansion since it was first proposed, and hired two consultants to review the design last year. Officials from Arcadis, a consulting engineering firm, told council in December that the slope stability design of Cell M falls below the Ohio EPA desired factor of safety. The Arcadis report was sent to the Ohio EPA last month.

Ms. Pierce said the Ohio EPA would once again consider granting Envirosafe a draft permit if the expansion plans are revised to meet the 1.5 desired factor of safety.

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