Judge Dismisses Hurricane Landfill Case Involving MCHM Wastewater

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HURRICANE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The fight in court to keep wastewater from Freedom Industries out of a Hurricane landfill is over for now.

Concerns were raised after people learned the wastewater contained some amount of the chemical MCHM.

On Friday, a judge dismissed the case for a permanent injunction because he said there wasn't much of one.

"Our permitting staff issued the special waste permit and the minor modification properly. We think the judge made the correct ruling," said West Virginia DEP official Scott Driver.

"We're watching out for the well-being of the city, plain and simple. Our goal and objective is to question what is being done," Hurricane City Manager Ben Newhouse said.

This comes after DSI Landfill voluntarily withdrew their permit to accept wastewater material from Freedom Industries, including some amount of MCHM.

In court, attorneys representing Hurricane city officials pushed for a permanent injunction and wanted to state their case, but the judge's ruling was not in their favor.

The judge dismissed the case.

He said because the landfill was no longer accepting the wastewater and that was backdated to March 26, the danger was no longer an issue.

This all started earlier this month, when residents in Hurricane noticed a smell.

Hurricane city leaders then did some digging and found the wastewater was being trucked in to DSI Landfill along W.Va. 34.

Hurricane's mayor filed a motion to stop the water from being dumped there.

A judge then granted a temporary restraining order.

Shortly after, Waste Management, the company that owns DSI Landfill, asked the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to withdraw their permit to dispose of wastewater including MCHM at their landfill.

The West Virginia DEP said the wastewater disposal was perfectly legal and notification was unnecessary because the material wasn't considered hazardous.

"I think any time we have anything that's a potential hazard to our drinking water, our well-being in our community, we ought to know about it," Newhouse said.

"By the time we walked in to court today, it was official that Waste Management and DSI were no longer permitted to receive any of this waste," Driver said.

Hurricane city officials said they're still concerned about what could happen in the future with permits.

For now, their concern is what happens with the wastewater that's already been trucked in and trying to get rid of it.

But, DEP officials said it was all done properly.

DEP officials said at one point, as much as 12,000 gallons of wastewater were being disposed at the landfill each day.

The original two permit changes allowed for up to 700 liquid tons of wastewater to be disposed at the landfill.


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