State officials could soon decide whether to expand an audit of solid waste facilities to see whether mandated money needed for clean-up and closure costs are set aside.
The money known as “financial assurance” is required under South Carolina law.
This potential audit is in response to the Bennett Industrial Landfill in Chester County. Ronald Olsen, 64, who owns the landfill, withdrew $100,000 of financial assurance money from a bank in 2008, according to bank records.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control or DHEC, which regulates solid waste facilities in South Carolina, didn’t realize the money was gone until 2013.
Out of 108 solid waste facilities, 12 had certificates of deposit guaranteeing the money, a DHEC audit showed. DHEC is now having discussions on whether to audit the remaining 95 facilities.
Bennett Landfill caught fire in November 2014 and is still smoldering. DHEC and the Environmental Protection Agency are still working to put out the fire. The cleanup costs will be passed on to taxpayers because the required financial assurance wasn’t there.
Olsen was indicted May 22nd for not having financial assurance on Bennett Landfill or for Pressley’s Recycling in Lancaster County, which he also owns.