LAS VEGAS (CN) – Republic Services of Southern Nevada will pay a $1 million fine and implement a pollution-control remedy at its shuttered Sunrise Mountain Landfill as part of a consent decree filed in Federal Court. Along with the fine, the agreement requires the company to implement storm water controls and other measures to prevent contaminated rainwater from washing into the nearby Las Vegas Wash and on to Lake Mead.
The decree was reached the same day that the feds filed suit against the company in Federal Court, accusing it and others of failing to safeguard the shuttered landfill from polluting nearby waterways by not preventing contaminated storm water from flowing into the water system.
“Intermittent storms between 1995 and the present resulted in the discharge of pollutants from the landfill,” the lawsuit states, “including medical wastes, asbestos, gravel, sand, rip-rap and municipal refuse.”
If Republic Services fails to comply with the decree, it will be assessed a $500 per-day fine for the first 14 days of non-compliance; $1,000 per day for each of the next 15 days; and $2,500 per day beyond the 31st day.
The landfill, approximately three miles east of Las Vegas, opened in 1952 and closed in April 1995. It no longer accepts waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the landfill contains about 25 million tons of refuse.