Make your home page

Learn about violations at Indiana landfill receiving soil from Ohio train derailment

ROACHDALE, Ind. (WISH) — I-Team 8 has uncovered details about the violations the landfill in Putnam County committed over the last 10 years.

It’s the Indiana site getting contaminated soil from the Feb. 3 train derailment in Ohio.

The violations are not for anything that has leaked from the landfill into the water, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Environmental Management data showed the violations against the Heritage Environmental Services landfill centered around something called a macroencapsulation bag.

Gabriel Filippelli is an environmental geochemist and an IUPUI School of Science Professor. About the bag, he said, “This is just a way to contain materials. The macroencapcilation bag just refers to the fact that you can actually put a barrier the material that might be potentially dangerous and the outside and it’s for larger materials.”

State Environmental Management documents showed the agency and the company have disagreed on whether or not a macroencapsulation bag qualifies as a treatment standard for hazardous waste and if materials inside a bag shipped to the landfill need extra treatment.

The IUPUI professor who is executive director of the college’s Environmental Resilience Institute, said about the dispute, “I think this all has to do with how the state wants it defined and how the facility wants it defined.”

Candice Thurman lives in Roachdale, just down the road from the landfill. She is one of the many people in the area who have voiced concerns about the contaminated soil and the violations against landfill over the past few years.

I-Team 8 asked Thurman if she gained comfort knowing the violations were not for any spills of toxic material into the environment. She responded, “I think there’s no comfort level if you’re really going to face it and face the facts.”

Thurman said one of the facts is that Heritage Environmental Services is a private company that has been qualified to dispose of toxic materials at the landfill for a long time. “We can only trust what they’re going to say and hope that whoever is regulating them is doing their job in a correct way and in an honest way.”

Thurman told I-Team 8 she isn’t happy with how the whole situation is being handled by the company.
She would like to see the company try and mend fences with the people of the area by investing more in their community. “Put a new roof on the community building. Sponsor more in the area. I mean, you’re here. You’re doing this. It’s a dirty job. It’s not going to fix things, but invest in the community and do some good.”

I-Team 8 has also learned that Heritage Environmental Services paid over $120,000 in county property taxes for the landfill since 2013.