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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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May 08, 2023

Settlement Follows Raoul’s 2020 Lawsuit for Landfill Gas Enforcement

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a $100,000 settlement with Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) Orchard Hills Landfill Inc. in Davis Junction, Illinois. This settlement resolves Raoul’s May 2020 complaint against the landfill for air pollution and failure to collect and control landfill odors.

Since Raoul’s lawsuit was filed in 2020, ADS addressed the alleged violations by making multiple improvements, including no longer accepting construction debris containing drywall fines, which is known to generate hydrogen sulfide gas that causes odors; converting existing wells to improve the capture of landfill gas; and installing additional gas collectors and additional piping to improve landfill gas collection.

“Landfills operating in our state must be properly maintained to limit off-site odors and ensure they are not impacting nearby communities,” Raoul said. “I appreciate Advanced Disposal Services’ cooperation to make significant improvements to collect and control landfill gas and minimize impact to the surrounding community.”

“The Illinois EPA initiated enforcement against ADS Orchard Hills Landfill due to odor issues at the landfill and determined a resolution was not possible without involving the Office of the Attorney General,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.  “We believe this settlement addresses the concerns raised in our violation notice and appreciate the work by Attorney General Raoul to bring a resolution to the case.”

According to Raoul’s settlement, ADS’ improvements have significantly reduced the overall waste acceptance with a drop in daily volume from about 7,000 tons to 2,500 tons of waste.

Under the settlement, ADS will monitor the local area each week for off-site landfill odors using a device to measure the level of an odor, if any. If a detected odor is attributed to the landfill, ADS will investigate the cause of the odor and implement corrective measures such as repairing, replacing or adjusting the gas collection system components.

ADS will also maintain a hotline for residents to call if they smell any landfill odors. If ADS receives one to five complaints in one week, off-site monitoring for the odors will increase to twice a week until resolved. If ADS receives six to 10 complaints, the company will monitor the area every other day until resolved. If ADS receives more than 10 odor complaints in a week, monitoring will occur every day until resolved.

ADS has also agreed to take the following steps in the settlement:

  • Pay a $100,000 civil penalty
  • Cease accepting construction debris containing drywall fines.
  • Continue to comply with the landfill gas collection and control system monitoring and maintenance plan.
  • Install an enhanced immediate cover system on portions of the landfill.

The Attorney General’s office enforces Illinois’ environmental protection laws. Raoul’s Environmental Enforcement Division, which enforces civil environmental laws, has recovered millions of dollars from polluters and required companies to undertake environmental improvement projects in communities impacted by contamination.

Senior Assistant Attorneys General Chris Grant and Karen Howard handled this case for the Attorney General’s Environmental Law Bureau.