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Spokane Valley company fined for dumping landfill waste

Emerald Services says dumping inadvertent

A Spokane Valley waste-handling business will pay thousands of dollars for dumping hazardous waste in a local landfill.

Emerald Services Inc., located on North Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley, will pay the state Department of Ecology $12,000 as a consequence of delivering and dumping a shipment of waste at the Graham Road Landfill that contained a high level of chlorinated materials.

On June 1, 2011, the company dumped 3.65 tons of oily sludge at the Graham Road Landfill, which is owned and operated by Waste Management Inc., according to the Department of Ecology. The sludge contained levels of chlorinated materials above what can be accepted at the landfill, which is not authorized to accept hazardous waste.

The violation was inadvertent, said Emerald Services spokeswoman Susan Thoman.

“The load in question was originally assumed to have met acceptable standards of what could be disposed of there,” Thoman said. “When Emerald discovered it did not meet those standards, the situation was immediately reported to the landfill to see if recovery of the waste was possible,” and then self-reported to the Department of Ecology.

Emerald Services collected samples of the material for laboratory analysis on the same day it was disposed, according to the DOE. Test results on June 9, 2011, revealed the sludge was a dangerous waste.

The DOE was prepared to seek $18,000 for the violation, officials there said, but entered into an agreement to avoid costly litigation with the business, which is now in compliance with DOE regulations.