Ohio EPA investigating dust, poisonous gas near Lordstown landfill

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Foul odors and dust-covered cars in the Village of Lordstown have caught the attention of public health officials, who say they are investigating complaints from neighbors of a landfill in the village.

The Ohio EPA and the Trumbull County General Health District say they have received 30 complaints since early January from neighbors of the Lordstown Construction Recovery landfill, which is operated by Lafarge for debris from construction and demolition of buildings. The complaints center around dust kicking up from landfill operations and strong odors in the air.

“Now they’re dumping their trucks on the plain ground,” said Angela Mulichak, who lives near the landfill on Palmyra Road. “When they dump the trucks, it’s closer to my house, so literally we can sit on the porch of my house and you see dust plumes coming up.”

Mulichak was one of a few dozen neighbors who came to a meeting at the Lordstown Administration Building on Thursday evening. They met with officials from the Ohio EPA, the Mahoning-Trumbull Air Pollution Control Agency, local health agencies and representatives from Lafarge.

Last June, the Mahoning-Trumbull Air Pollution Control Agency said dust emissions exceeded the levels permitted. They issued a violation to Lafarge, but no punishment or fines.

“My biggest concern is I have a grandchild now,” said Mulichak “I want him to be able to play outside and not worry about what’s in that dust that lays on swing-sets, if it could be harmful to his health.”

Neighbors have also described an odor in the air like sulfur or rotten eggs, which could be poisonous hydrogen sulfide.

“We’re going to try to see if we can detect hydrogen sulfide odor in the air, when it’s occurring, and at what strength,” said Mike Settles, a spokesman for the Ohio EPA.

Representatives from Lafarge say they want residents near the landfill to tell the company if they see or smell problems.

“As far as we’re concerned, we want to be a good neighbor,” said Hans Schrama, an operations manager for Lafarge. “We want to do the right thing. So if anybody has a concern, we want to hear from them.”

Lordstown residents are advised to report any “odor events” to the Ohio EPA hotline at (330) 963-1212. Any other issues related to the landfill can be emailed to Health@co.trumbull.oh.us.

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