Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board in the case of T.C. Inman, Inc. and Theodore C. Inman v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources, EHB Docket No. 85-417-G, dated July 19, 1988.
Robert J. Fall, Wymard, Dunn, Gordon & Fall, for petitioners.
Diana J. Stares, Assistant Counsel, with her, Gail A. Myers, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Barry and Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.
[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 333]
T.C. Inman, Inc. and Theodore C. Inman (Petitioners) appeal from an order of the Environmental Hearing Board (Board) dismissing Petitioners' appeal from the Department of Environmental Resources' (Department's) order which denied Petitioners' September 12, 1985 application for a solid waste permit. Petitioners also appeal the Department's issuance of a closure order and civil penalty assessment.
From 1955 to 1985, Petitioners operated a sanitary landfill in Beaver County. In 1970, Petitioners submitted an application to the Department for a disposal permit. This application was never fully completed and therefore, was not approved. In 1972, the Department commenced legal action to compel Petitioners to obtain the required permits. Petitioners agreed to submit proper applications for both a Clean Streams Law, Act of June 22, 1937, P.L.
[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 3341987]
, as amended, 35 P.S. §§ 691.1-691.901 permit to operate a leachate treatment facility at the landfill, and a Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 788, as amended, 35 P.S. §§ 6001-6017 permit to conduct waste disposal activities at the landfill. The Department issued the Clean Streams Law permit to Petitioners, but did not issue the SWMA permit because Petitioners had not fully completed the application which requires the construction of a leachate collection and treatment system. To enable Petitioners to continue operating for a limited time, the Department issued a letter (letter) on September 4, 1973, granting limited authorization to continue waste disposal, pending final review of the application. The letter also required Petitioners to comply with all applicable laws. No permit was ever issued for the 1972 application.
On September 16, 1982, Petitioners submitted a third permit application. This application was also incomplete. The Department repeatedly advised Petitioners that the permit would be denied if they did not supply the necessary information. Numerous communications between the parties took place over the next few years. On December 7, 1984, the Department returned the inadequate application to Petitioners. The Department later reaccepted the incomplete application; however, it advised Petitioners that if all necessary requirements and amendments were not received by March 26, 1985, the permit would be denied.
On September 12, 1985, the permit was denied, Petitioners still having not produced a completed application. Since Petitioners no longer had a pending disposal application, the Department was statutorily required to order Petitioners to cease operations pursuant to Sections 201 and 501 of the SWMA, 35 P.S. §§ 6018.201 and 6018.501. This closure order became effective December
[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 33531]
, 1985. A civil penalty was also assessed for failing to comply with regulations in the operation of the landfill. It is from the 1985 permit denial, closure order and civil ...