Pennsylvania county files lawsuit over defective landfill leachate storage tank

Pennsylvania county files lawsuit over defective landfill leachate storage tank

Suit claims Lobar failed to repair 5.62-million-gallon tank’s HDPE double liner.

June 14, 2017
Waste Today Staff
Landfills Legislation and regulations
Pennsylvania’s Lycoming County has sued a Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, contractor for allegedly abandoning a $5.7 million leachate storage tank project at the county landfill, according to a report on

The suit, filed in the county court claims Lobar Inc. Construction Services was paid for a tank that cannot be used and the company has not repaired the liner defects it is required to fix.

The suit claims the 5.62-million-gallon tank does not work because the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) double liner is not watertight.

The article says the $5.7 million project was scheduled for completion in 2014 and because it can’t be used, the county has paid more than $224,000 to have leachate hauled from the landfill.

The landfill produces approximately 120,000 gallons of leachate daily. The majority of the leachate is piped to two sewage treatment plants. The tank is intended for use when the amount of leachate exceeds the capacity of the lines. The tank is reportedly necessary for the county to obtain a landfill expansion permit.

While the county claims Lobar is responsible for completing the tank according to specifications, Lobar, claims a design flaw prevents the repairs from being made.

Lobar, in a court document, claims a flawed design prevents having a watertight lining system. It also claims the specifications did not require it to provide one. The county says Lobar never questioned the tank’s design until May 2016. The estimated cost of replacing or repairing the liner is $1.36 million.

The county claims the company was notified in May 2014 of liner defects and tests conducted since then have confirmed leaks. The county suspended work on the tank in February 2016, to allow hydrostatic testing of the liner system. Reportedly Lobar neither resumed repairing the liner nor provided a detailed work plan when the suspension was lifted, the court documents state.

Lycoming County says Lobar failed to complete the project, provide a watertight liner and deliver weekly required prevailing wage certificates of its subcontractors for more than three years.

Federal Insurance Co. of Wayne, N.J., provided Lobar's performance bond and also is named as a defendant. The county is reportedly seeking enough damages from Federal Insurance to allow it to complete the project.