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Arbor Hills Landfill

Arbor Hills Landfill Workers
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Arbor Hills Landfill

The facility is located in Salem Township, in Washtenaw County and borders Northville Township, in Wayne County. The Arbor Hills Landfill (AHL) is currently owned by Green for Life Environmental. The adjacent landfill gas-to-energy plant is owned by Arbor Hills Energy LLC (AHE), a subsidiary of OPAL Fuels. While municipal solid waste landfills like the AHL, provide a necessary service in Michigan, facilities must operate safely, in accordance with regulations, and as a good neighbor to our citizens.

EGLE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have conducted several investigations of the landfill. Due to continued noncompliance , EGLE and the Michigan Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against the landfill in October 2020. In March 2022, EGLE and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office signed a settlement agreement with AHL in the form of a Consent Judgment.

EGLE staff continues to respond to complaints and concerns filed by residents near the landfill and conduct on-site investigations as well as regular inspections and compliance activities.

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Updates

  • December 2021: EGLE and the USEPA finalized the AHE Final Consent Decree against Arbor Hills Energy on December 15, 2021.
  • March 2022: The Michigan Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of EGLE, finalized the AHL Final Consent Judgment  against Arbor Hills Landfill on March 7, 2022. The Consent Judgment contains a robust compliance plan, Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), and penalties for past violations and stipulated penalties for future violations of the consent judgment.  Summary of the Consent Judgment and SEPs.
  • April 2022: You can view a recording of the Community Update Meeting EGLE hosted on April 28, 2022.  The purpose of this meeting was to talk with the public about enforcement activities and other activities related to the landfill.
  • August 2022:  EGLE and USEPA finalized an amendment to the Arbor Hills Energy consent decree on August 22, 2022.  The consent decree was amended to  include two new timelines:
    • By May 15, 2023, high quality landfill gas will be treated in a partially constructed Renewable Natural Gas facility to remove hydrogen sulfide.
    • By October 31, 2023, the full Renewable Natural Gas facility must be operational, greatly reducing SO2 emissions.
  • September 2022:  AQD received two air permit applications related to one single project (Application APP-2022-0214 was received on 8/31/2022 and APP-2022-0215 was received on 9/6/2022).  These applications are for a renewable natural gas plant and for electric generating turbines.  The applications submitted by the company and other related information can be found on AQD's Applications of Interest page (choose "Arbor Hills landfill"). 
  • April 2023: A public comment period was opened on April 13 for two proposed permits associated with operations at the landfill. The comment period will be open until May 22. The public may provide comments in writing or via email. More information on how to provide comments or review information can be found on the Applications Open for Comment notice.
  • May 2023: Two air permits have been issued associated with operations at the landfill, Permit No. 67-23 to install and operate a renewable natural gas plant and Permit No. 68-23 for treatment and restriction of landfill gas burned in the existing turbines. In general, the changes include:
    • Requirement of a recent enforcement action (Consent Decree) not previously included in the permit.
    • Correcting of frequency of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or total reduced sulfur (TRS) equivalent sampling.
    • Examples of records required to show compliance with preventative and malfunction abatement plans.
    • Specifying how emissions of certain pollutants should be calculated.
  • May 2023: On May 25, 2023, a Part 115 Administrative Consent Order (ACO) was entered into between EGLE’s Materials Management Division (MMD) and the landfill. The ACO resolves violations cited in a violation notice issued by MMD to the landfill in August 2022 due to a release of leachate outside of the landfill. The ACO requires the landfill to:
    • Perform additional environmental investigation activities surrounding the leachate release area. 
    • Improve the leachate storage area.
    • Provide an updated Storm Water Management Plan for EGLE’s review and approval.
    • Update the landfill’s hydrogeological monitoring plan.
    • Pay a monetary penalty of $15,300 and pay the costs of surveillance and enforcement of $1,424.46.
    • Pay additional stipulated penalties if future violations occur.
       

       

Perimeter Monitoring and Real-time Data Website SEP

With the March 2022 Consent Judgment, AHL agreed to three SEPs, a vegetative buffer on the east side of the landfill, a household hazardous waste recycling program, and six air monitors to be placed along the east side of the landfill. The six air monitors will collect hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), and real-time weather data.   Links to the data will be posted on this page when available.

Ridge Wood Elementary Air Monitor

The required air monitor at Ridge Wood Elementary School is live. The requirement was the result of an enforcement action with the USEPA and AHL. The website contains current data and past reports. You can also find out other real-time air monitoring information on EGLE's air monitoring webpage.

Additional Information

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