The operator of a Chester County landfill that has been smoldering since November will remain free as he faces charges of breaking South Carolina’s solid waste law.
Ronald Ray Olsen was released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond after appearing in state court Thursday in Lancaster County, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s office. The criminal charges he faces are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in prison or up to a $10,000 fine, the Attorney General’s office said.
Olsen pleaded not guilty. Attempts to reach Olsen’s attorney were unsuccessful Thursday. No trial date has been set.
Olsen’s landfill, perched along the banks of the Broad River near Lockhart, has been smoking since it caught fire in early November. The smoldering waste dump has at times inundated the town of Lockhart with smoke. The Union County mill town of 500 people is in South Carolina’s Upstate.
Olsen is accused of violating the state’s solid waste management law. He failed to maintain proper cleanup money for landfills he operates, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control says. Olsen withdrew the money from a financial institution in 2008, according to the agency.