County updated on Stuff investigations, complaints

Published 10:50 am Monday, July 15, 2019

While the state Division of Waste Management has issued its violations against Stuff Recycling, none appear to be forthcoming from other state officials concerning water or air pollution.

Clark County Emergency Management Director Gary Epperson told the Clark County Fiscal Court this week he had spoken with officials with the Division of Water on multiple occasions.

There were elevated levels of some items, Epperson said, but nothing that warranted a violation.

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“None of those were of any substance to harm the public,” Epperson said. “Nothing worse than anywhere else in the county.”

In the wake of last summer’s fire at the recycling business, residents near the business have expressed their concerns of possible pollution from runoff from the site.

Epperson also said there were no violations concerning air quality around the site either.

In April, Kentucky Division of Solid Waste Director John Maybrier told the fiscal court soil and water samples were taken from the site during the investigation. Maybrier said there was an elevated zinc level but it was not “significantly elevated.”

Last month, an agreed order was filed by the Division of Waste Management against Stuff, which mandated a $40,000 civil penalty, more than $17,000 in reimbursement for the state’s expenses in helping fight the fire and a remediation plan to bring the facility in line with state standards.

State officials said the fines were paid July 3.

The fire started June 8, 2018, in a pile of material including vehicles, which burned for three days.

More than 30 local and state agencies responded to the fire. Ultimately, firefighters used approximately 1 million gallons of water to extinguish the blaze.

Both the City of Winchester and Clark County have filed legal action against Stuff to recoup some of their expenses in fighting the fire. Those are pending in Clark Circuit Court.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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