To: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
As state representatives of Seneca County, and as attendees at the Sunny Farms community meeting held in Tiffin on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, we wish to offer feedback.
We believe that the landfill smell is a very real problem and believe it is not being taken as seriously as it should be by those that live outside if the community.
We believe that the smell is in the chronic stage, where three stages were described by a member of the Ohio EPA team, chronic being the worst, where the smell is in the air consistently.
We believe the concern that the Ohio EPA has not adequately addressed the issue in a timely manner, despite the fact that it has the enforcement capacity.
We believe that like every other business, Sunny Farms has the responsibility to abide by the law.
And we believe the citizens have a right to be protected, the very reason that EPA regulations are enacted.
We would suggest that the EPA reconsider their orders concerning the operations at Sunny Farms to include more detailed time lines with outlined, significant repercussions if those timelines are not met. Additionally, the EPA should detail publically how it will be evaluating the fulfillment of these orders.
We would also suggest that the Seneca County Health District consider not renewing Sunny Farms’ license if these timelines are not met.
The actions that Sunny Farms leadership suggested should be made at the site, need to be included within the sanctions, and some of them include:
• 18 acres need to be covered, (4 out of the 22 have been covered)
• All wells are installed,
• All monitors are in place,
• All scales are in place,
• All wastewater treatment containers are in proper condition for monitoring,
• A process is in place that to verify that all railroad cars are covered,
• The hotline number results are being properly communicated between all groups,
• All necessary fencing is installed.
It appears that landfills in other places, such as Crawford or Wyandot counties, using similar practices, are able to operate efficiently and productively while having little-to-no impact on the local community. We believe that this is a reachable, reasonable goal.
While we, or the public, may not understand all of the proprietary issues concerning all of the groups involved, we do believe that the public has a right to feel confident that public officials are maintaining adequate oversight. Our drive in stimulating a more aggressive timeline with suggested actions, is necessitated by that fact that we cannot waste more time solving a problem that is paramount to the health of the community, a act which we believe non-residents are not taking as seriously as they should.
We believe it is absolutely critical that an understanding between parties be reached immediately and with transparency as to how the deadlines will be met and dealt with, in order to ensure the safety and health of the community. The repugnant, prevailing bad-egg smell and corresponding health affects are real. We demand that these issues be addressed with urgency.
While the sanctions put in place are a good step, we believe the actions listed above need to be addressed in conjunction with the sanctions, with agreement from the landfill. We suggest that the timelines for completion be shared with the community, as well as the steps the EPA will take if the timelines are not met.
We believe that the EPA and the Seneca County Health District are with us in wanting to correct the situation, as evidence of the orders signed on Jan. 31st, it is important, again, to point out that we really don’t have time to let this situation persist, and that all parties know that an immediate, transparent plan of action is necessary.
Riordan McClain, state representative, 87th House District Bill Reineke, state representative,
88th House District