Could ESI’s Ashland, KY Landfill Impact The Lorton Landfill Closure?

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you with some recent news about ESI and how it may affect their operations at its CDD landfill in Lorton. The Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader editors have called for the closure of the ESI landfill in Ashland, KY for the company’s failure to repair the landslide which occurred in 2013.

While the management of a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfill in Kentucky would seem to be unrelated to the ESI debris landfill in Lorton, it does have implications for Lorton and Fairfax County. The Kentucky landfill is another major revenue stream for ESI. If ESI loses its permit in Kentucky, the associated regulatory liabilities may put the company at risk, which means that the orderly closure of the Lorton Landfill could also be at risk. So I have asked our supervisors to be extra vigilant in the coming years to make sure that the landfill does not defer slope construction and maintenance, methane collection, and proffer fulfillment as it progresses towards closure.

Last year, the Lorton Landfill took in over 1,350,000 tons of CDD waste and petroleum contaminated soils. Based on an average of $42 per ton, which is the estimate of the average tipping fee by the Solid Waste Division of DPWES, this landfill had a 2014 revenue stream as large as $56.7 million, or more than $4.7 million per month. There are no restrictions on ESI’s subsidiary company, Furnace Associates, Inc., which would prevent the company from moving cash to the parent company and beyond the reach of State and local government. It is imperative that the County makes sure that the proffered improvements and E&S improvements are thoroughly covered by surety bonds. The County must secure its interests in the closure of this landfill while the money is still flowing into the company.

At the end of the public hearings last summer, I was fairly certain that ESI would be sold to another waste company by its New York investors. I strongly suspect that the difficulties at the Kentucky landfill were a major obstacle to such a transaction. Fairfax County and the Commonwealth should take this as a warning of events that may unfold with the Lorton Landfill.

Click here to read the editorial regarding the Ashland, KY landfill closure. Also, you can view my letters to Chairman Sharon Bulova here.

Sincerely yours,
Bill Lynch



Click here to visit the South County Federation ESI Information Page


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