August 29, 2014

Elyria
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test

Meeting set for Quarry Road sewage pond

PITTSFIELD TWP. — Residents surrounding a sludge lagoon on Quarry Road will have a chance to testify at a Board of Appeals meeting March 7.

The meeting, requested by French Creek BioEnergy LLC/Quasar Energy Group and landowners Donald and Deborah Ortner, will challenge the Pittsfield Township zoning inspector’s issuance of a cease-and-desist order and notice of violation, which allege that the lagoon is an “industrial” use that is not permitted by the Pittsfield Township Zoning Resolution and requires a special permit.

Many residents were outraged when they learned in December that the lagoon would hold treated human waste, designed to be used as fertilizer on local farms. While Quasar representatives and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have said using the waste, or class B sludge, is perfectly safe, residents have raised health concerns and are worried about the smell of the facility.

Forty-three property owners have also filed an appeal with the EPA, alleging that the permit granted to build the storage lagoon was granted under false pretenses.

The residents allege that French Creek BioEnergy LLC provided the Ohio EPA with a location approximately a half-mile from the lagoon’s true location and, because of that information, the lagoon doesn’t comply with EPA standards.

The residents’ attorney, Gerald Phillips, said the appeal through the EPA is on hold, pending a decision from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting is open to the public said Mark Hess, secretary of the Board of Zoning Appeals. During the meeting, residents, attorneys and representation for Quasar will have the opportunity to present facts and testify.

The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees will not be present, as recommended by its council.

Mark McConnell, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the meeting is “no secret,” and he encouraged residents to attend and participate.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Pittsfield Township Hall, located at the intersection of state Routes 58 and 303.

Landowners’ meeting

  • WHAT: For residents to testify at Board of Appeals on sludge lagoon on Quarry Road.
  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. March 7
  • WHERE: Pittsfield Township Hall, intersection of state Routes 58 and 303.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.