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Published: Friday, 11/23/2007

Northeast Ohio landfill fights call for suspension


AKRON - The operating permit for a troubled landfill in northeast Ohio should be suspended because of continuing problems with odors and underground fires, the Stark County health commissioner said.

A suspension would shut down the 258-acre landfill in southern Stark County until the problems are corrected. Republic Services, the Florida parent company of the landfill, was granted a temporary restraining order in Stark County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday to block the suspension and keep the landfill operating.

Countywide Recycling and Disposal Facility is one of Ohio's largest landfills, handling about 6,000 tons of garbage a day from northern Ohio. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials described it as "significantly malfunctioning" in February and deemed it one of their top priorities after it produced foul-smelling odors for months.

In a letter Monday, county health Commissioner William Franks said that under state law, a landfill owner is required to have "adequate equipment, material and services available at or near the facility to control fire."

The landfill meets all criteria for the renewal of the license and should be allowed to continue operations, company spokesman Will Flower said. He said the company was "shocked" by Mr. Franks' recommendation.

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