Time to give Sunny Farms benefit of the doubt

The whole Sunny Farms landfill issue has sure caused a stink, and Sunny Farms has had to pay a hefty price for fallout from the odor and other issues.

But now that the Ohio EPA has weighed in and made Sunny Farms pay for its past transgressions, it’s time we join the Seneca County General Health District and give the landfill the benefit of the doubt.

All indications show that Sunny Farms corrected solid waste and water violations, as well as odors from hydrogen sulfide and sulphur dioxide. As part of the settlement where Sunny Farms agreed to pay $1.71 million in civil penalties and $2.01 million for under-reported and mischaracterized fees, the company now will be subject to many requirements and levels of monitoring.

But the fact remains that at this point the Ohio EPA has determined Sunny Farms to be in “substantial compliance,” prompting the Seneca County health district to issue a 2019 operating license to Sunny Farms.

We agree with this step as we believe that Sunny Farms has not only paid its price, but it has also taken noticeable steps toward being a better neighbor to the Fostoria area. Sunny Farms clearly will be under the microscope, but let’s give the benefit of the doubt and turn over a new chapter.

Also to be commended is the role of the public in this issue, who effectively drove change by reporting some of the past issues at Sunny Farms. We are heartened to see this instance of average Joe’s making a difference.

The stink is gone and let’s not turn our noses toward Sunny Farms. It’s a guarantee the public and the OEPA will again cause a stink if future violations occur.