Attorney general sues over violations at Petersburg landfill

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

Attorney General Mark Herring is suing the company that owns the Tri City Landfill in Petersburg for repeated violations of waste management practices and stormwater control.

CFS Group Disposal & Recycling Services, which owns the landfill, was alerted four times going back to 2015 of a range of problems, including waste blocking the roads of the landfill, clogged drains causing flooding at the facility, leaving waste uncovered and failure to keep an adequate supply of cover soil on hand.

At one point, state officials found water from the trash leaking into a drop inlet and coal ash that mixed with water and flowed into the Appomattox River, according to the suit.

Herring wants CFS to pay $32,500 per day — the maximum amount — for violations that haven’t been addressed since an August letter and to limit or cease operations until everything is fixed.

“CFS repeatedly received warnings that it was in violation of the law but it continued to ignore its responsibility to protect the land, air and water around the Tri City Landfill and failed to comply with waste management permits and regulations,” Herring wrote in a statement.

“Today, we are asking the court to ensure that CFS stops these violations and compensates Virginia accordingly for its role in damaging the environment around its Petersburg facility.”

Last year, CFS Group was acquired by Meridian Waste Solutions of Georgia.

At the time, the Petersburg Progress-Index reported that CFS generated $25 million in revenue in 2016 from its services to more than 30,000 commercial, industrial and residential customers in the Richmond metropolitan area.


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Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.