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Commissioners introduce draft language concerning landfill expansion, seek input

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Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners introduced draft language for a potential resolution that would publicly oppose the proposed expansion at Sunny Farms Landfill during a session Thursday.

The draft language includes a request for Win Waste Innovations to rescind its application for expansion. The commissioners hope to receive public input and feedback about the draft, and they are expected to consider formal action concerning the board’s position during the June 9th board meeting.

Those with feedback can e-mail their comments to [email protected]

A public hearing regarding the proposed expansion is scheduled for June 8th at 6 p.m. at Camden Falls in Tiffin.

The draft language prepared by commissioners’ office staff is to be further considered by each of the commissioners, but each expressed interest in approving an official resolution at next week’s meeting. The language introduced Thursday included nine pre-ambulatory statements that describe the situation at Sunny Farms Landfill, which is operated by Win Waste Innovations and is located in Loudon Township. SFL officials have submitted a Permit to Install Application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that, if approved, would see an expansion to the north unit of the landfill.

The expansion would grow the footprint of the facility horizontally and vertically, increasing the landfill’s allowable daily intake from 7,500 tons to 12,000 tons. Ohio’s largest landfill currently is approved to accept 10,000 tons of waste a day.

Although the commissioners have no direct authority over the regulation of landfills, the draft language states that the board still hopes to work collaboratively with Seneca County General Health District, Ohio EPA and all other regulatory authorities to ensure that the landfill is in substantial compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations.

The draft language continues by stating a commitment to the health and safety of all county residents. Also noted in the language are points of information presented by Chris Lund, Senior Vice President of Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, an international solid waste management consulting firm, during the May 30, 2022, Seneca County General Health District Board meeting.

Lund reported that Sulfur Dioxide emissions are still 20 times higher than what is expected at other compliant landfills across the state and that although there have been improvements, the landfill is still not compliant with the Clean Air Act. Lund reported that Sunny Farms Landfill was the sixth-largest source of Sulfur Dioxide emissions in the state, which is comparable to the last few uncontrolled coal fire plants in Ohio.

The resolution also includes several operative clauses, including the request that Win Waste Innovations rescind its Permit to Install Application until the company makes it abundantly clear that it can safely and adequately handle dust, odors and potentially toxic emissions at the same standard as all other waste management facilities across the state of Ohio.

It also urges the company to reconsider expansion plans until Sunny Farms Landfill is in substantial compliance with the Clean Air Act and with all other state and federal rules and regulations. Finally, the language states that the board strongly opposes any expansion or growth at Sunny Farms Landfill before it is clearly demonstrated that emissions and potentially harmful health effects have been completely mitigated at the landfill’s current size.

Further discussion on the draft resolution is expected next week.

In other action, several representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 Office spoke to the commissioners about the latest information from ODOT. Two projects are expected to be completed year, including the addition of a roundabout at US 224 and SR 587. ODOT reps said that roundabouts drastically increase the safety of an intersection, including by reducing fatalities by about 90 percent.

ODOT personnel also previewed five projects slated for 2023, including work on US 23, US 224, SR 4, SR 12 and SR 231.

Also during the session, County Administrator Stacy Wilson announced that three projects in Seneca County are to receive funding via the state capital budget. The budget was approved by both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly this week, and it is expected to be signed into law by the governor soon.

Those projects include:

  • $150,000 for the Fostoria splash pad project
  • $75,000 for the Vanguard-Sentinel EMT training project
  • $300,000 for the Community Kitchen project

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