All posts by Scott Bushbaum

I've been an environmentalist since 1988. I've worked on EPA Superfund laws, HazMat Transportation laws and related issues statewide. I live in Dayton and work on the Miami Group's Executive Committee and the Ohio Chapter's Executive Committee.

Appalachia Storage Hub news from the Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:27 AM, Cheryl Johncox <cheryl.johncox@SIERRACLUB.ORG> wrote:



August 25, 2017 OVEC.ORG
It’s Not a Done Deal: Say “No!” to Appalachian Storage Hub
Planned Chemical Monstrosity Would Bring Skyrocketing Climate Emissions,
Public Health Dangers
The nation’s largest petrochemical hub is located in southern Louisiana along the
Mississippi River. This area is known as Cancer Alley, because its neighbors suffer
very high illness rates. This Gulf Coast region is increasingly beset with hurricanes, floods and other storms which endanger the reliability of chemical production there. Meanwhile,
there’s been a recent increase in Gulf Coast export markets for natural gas liquids
and the chemicals derived from them. So, industry and government are now
planning to create a second major petrochemical region here in our Appalachian
Ohio River Valley.
The biggest increase in fracking for natural gas (methane) and natural gas
liquids is projected to come from Appalachia. According to March 3, 2017 Shale
Daily article, “The Appalachian Basin’s shale formations helped to birth the
natural gas renaissance in North America, and the region now is poised to join the
Gulf Coast as a major petrochemical hub.”
part-3-region-could-sustain-four-additional-crackers)
Central to these plans is the establishment of an Appalachian Storage Hub
which would consist of underground storage facilities for natural gas liquids
extracted from the Marcellus, Utica and Rogersville shales across West
Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as a vast network of new
pipelines.
Petrochemicals have been stored underground for a long time, but not without
some serious problems. For example, a salt deposit dug out for multiple
underground storage caves for natural gas liquids and other chemicals became the
site of a catastrophe that destroyed most of a small town in Louisiana in 2012. A
drill bit pierced the side of one chemical storage cavern. Toxic chemicals oozed up
and most of an entire community were forced to move out.
We also remember a more recent huge and long-lasting problem with leaking
underground petrochemical storage in southern California.
As part of the Appalachian Storage Hub, one hundred million barrels of natural gas
liquids would be stored in a to-be-built system of “underground caverns, salt caves
and areas where natural gas has been extracted,” according to a January 23
Kallanish Energy article.
price-tag/)
The Hub would transport natural gas liquids and their constituent chemicals by
means of six big pipelines running 386 miles along the Ohio River from
Monaco, PA to Catlettsburg, KY, right though the Huntington, WV. Unless the
plan is to blow up steep hills, there is nowhere these six mammoth pipelines could
run other than virtually adjacent to the banks of the Ohio River, the source of
drinking water for millions of people.
Monaco PA is where Royal Dutch Shell wants to build a multi-billion-dollar
ethane cracker plant; Catlettsburg KY is where Marathon Petroleum has a refinery.
A major expansion of Marathon Petroleum’s refinery is now underway. A 68-mile
Hub pipeline spur would also go from Point Pleasant, WV to Charleston, WV.
Also planned is an additional three thousand miles of smaller pipelines to
transport chemicals to current and future industrial plants along a 454-mile corridor
in the four states.
No Surprise, American Chemistry Council Says Bring It On
In a May 18, 2017 press release and report, the American Chemistry Council
(ACC) opines: “The Appalachian region is an ideal location for the emergence of a
second major petrochemical manufacturing hub in the United States, offering
benefits such as proximity to abundant NGL (natural gas liquids) resources from
the Marcellus/Utica and Rogersville Shale formations.” ACC reckons these shale
gas deposits “could feed at least half a dozen world-scale petrochemical complexes
in addition to a number of smaller facilities.”
New-Report-Shows-Potential-for-Major-Appalachian-Petrochemical-
Industry.html)
The American Chemistry Council report says that at least five natural gas liquids
cracker complexes would be needed to fully realize the petrochemical potential in
the four-state Ohio River Valley region extending from southwest PA to
Catlettsburg, KY (several miles west of Huntington, WV). Their analysis assumes
that 90% of the plastic resin products from the five hoped-for crackers would be
shipped outside of the Appalachian region. This would include exports to countries
all over the globe.
Royal Dutch Shell has already received permits to build a cracker complex in
Monaco, PA. Two other crackers are proposed, but not yet permitted. A Thai
company wants to build a cracker complex in Belmont County OH, and two
Brazilian companies want to build one near Parkersburg, WV. (We at OVEC are
painfully aware of how difficult it is to force U.S.-based companies to comply
with coal mining pollution laws; trying to influence foreign companies would be
even harder!)
Before this “world class” Ohio River Valley petrochemical complex could come to
fruition, several things are necessary. Construction of the Appalachian Storage
Hub would cost around $10 billion, which the American Chemistry Council says
would require a public-private partnership, with the financial backing of the private
sector, as well as funding from federal and state governments. This means that
our tax dollars would be necessary for these developments that would bring
huge increases in global warming emissions, as well as all kinds of dangers to
public health, from chemical emissions to potential pipeline explosions.
The Appalachian Storage Hub would also necessitate that government develop
“appropriate policies and permitting practices,” according to the ACC report. To
those of us at OVEC who have been decoding industry-speak for decades, what
this means is companies would demand lenient permitting rules and lax pollution
requirements.
Plus, we would expect a behind-the-scenes agreement with state and federal
regulators that pollution enforcement would not be a priority. It is no secret that
WV and other states have widely ignored pollution laws in their “oversight” of
mountaintop removal coal mining, leaving some counties in southwestern WV and
eastern Kentucky as some of the poorest and sickest counties in the nation. Surely
fracking and pipeline industry officials figure that they can expect the same degree
of cooperation from government officials.
A Conference on Your Future, Held Without You
Promotional material for the June 15, 2017 regional Appalachian Storage Hub
Conference promised attendees networking opportunities with key regional
governmental decision makers. There has been no networking opportunity with
regular citizens whose taxes pay the salaries of these key governmental decision
makers.
Speakers slated to address the conference included Congressman David McKinley
(R-WV) and three other state government employees, including the Deputy
Secretary of the WV Department of Commerce.
The conference pre-registration information noted:
–To maximize opportunities “an open back and forth dialogue is critical;”
–“All sectors will benefit” from the storage hub;
–“All are needed to support the rapid development of this regional mega project.”
–A conference goal was to “Help shape the future and establish relationships with
those driving this mega project.”
One can assume that the “all” who are supposed to support the rapid development
of and benefit from the Hub—Cancer Alley Two—are not the people who actually
live here, since we were not invited or even able to become informed after the
conference. We are obviously not wanted to take part in the oil and gas industries
designs on our future.
The conference fee ranged from $495 to $2,500. It sold out and had a wait-list. A
great deal of pre-registration information, from multiple sources, is and was
available online to get the right kind of people to attend the conference. But, so far,
we have been unable to find online information on who said what at the
conference. Nor have we seen any media coverage of this event whose goal was to
“help shape the future”.
Is the information being kept secret from us? Conference attendees most likely
realize that the extensive underground cavern storage and mega-pipelines the Hub
would require would not be a good thing for all, namely the nearby communities.
Call us cynical if you like, but, thanks to previous experience, we bet that those
who truly stand to profit from the Hub, at our expense, wish to hide all the details
until plans, permits and greased palms are all firmly in place.
While the public is not allowed to know details about this Appalachian Storage
Hub conference, we are being assured that this “mega project” would be safe and
highly regulated, and would bring high paying industrial jobs back to our area
which is reeling from the loss of thousands of coal, steel and chemical industry
jobs.
Several glowing op-eds, as well as an editorial, have recently appeared in the
Charleston Gazette Mail and the Huntington Herald Dispatch, written by
enthusiastic industry backers. Any risks to our health and safety are apparently to
be endured for the prospect of new jobs. Those of us who would find ourselves
living in Cancer Alley Two must happily accept the risks, in order to improve the
U.S. balance of trade. The Hub would allow the U.S. to export massive amounts of
natural gas liquids and the chemicals derived from these liquids, as well as
methane gas.
Massive Fracking Increases Planned WV Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) says, “We have a moral imperative to provide low-cost energy, not only to West Virginia but to the
 world.” Clearly, the same moral imperative does not apply to protecting the health
of West Virginia’s people.
could-fuel-economic/article_05990feb-2ede-5413-944c-
6be08f4c70cc.html)
Extensive fracking increases here would be necessary to make Cancer Alley Two,
along with the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub, a reality.
Fracking has begun in the very deep Rogersville Shale which underlies Wayne
County, WV and adjoining eastern KY, here in the Huntington Tri-State area. The
Rogersville extends into other WV counties as well. Marathon Petroleum and
MarkWest have already committed a billion dollars to develop Rogersville Shale
infrastructure. Dozens of oil and gas companies have leased land in the Rogersville
Shale. For more detail, see OVEC’s Renew WV newspaper: ohvec.org/renew-wv.)
ohvec.org It’s Not a Done Deal: Say “No!” to Appalachian Storage Hub 6
A couple of years ago the oil and gas fracking industry went through an economic
downturn. The industry’s biggest priorities during the downturn seemed to be
finding new export markets and developing cheaper, untested ways to operate.
Since our region’s state governments are so beholden to fossil-fuel corporations,
companies feel free to experiment, knowing they won’t be bothered too much by
government pollution enforcement, or by strict penalties for the inevitable spills
and explosions. (After all, this is the region where “our” politicians are still trying to get more
mountaintop removal coal mining, even after dozens of peer-reviewed studies have
shown exceptionally high illness and early death rates in people who live near the
blown up mountains, buried streams and obliterated communities.)
Now fracking activities are steeply on the rise in WV, PA, OH, and KY. Some of
the newer, cheaper, but untried methods are apparently in use. Some wells in the
Rogersville Shale has been permitted to 15,000 feet deep. Some wells feature
lateral (sideways) fracking which extends much further than in “regular” deep
shale fracking. The world record for the longest lateral fracking pipe is said to be
at One Utica Shale well in OH which is more than five miles deep, and the lateral
is more than three and a half miles long!
in-world-in-utica/)
Is it possible to safely frack at this extreme depth and length? Even at 5,000 to
7,000 feet (the typical depth of a Marcellus Shale well in WV), fracking neighbors
have problems with contaminated water, toxic air, and scores of massive trucks
taking over the roads and making them much more dangerous.
Hundreds of West Virginians living close to Marcellus drilling operations have
already sued fracking companies as a result of how miserable it is to live near these
sites that make other people rich. Many have had to resort to having water trucked
in after their well water is contaminated. And in Pennsylvania, even the DEP has
said that more than 200 private wells have been contaminated as a result of
fracking operations. Nevertheless, we’ve been told repeatedly that fracking
activities are safe and do not contaminate the groundwater
Politicians: Appalachian Storage Hub Cheerleaders
In October, top politicians from three states signed an agreement promising
cooperation in securing the cracker complexes for the region that would be
necessary to the development of the Appalachian Storage Hub. Then WV
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Lieutenant Governor of Ohio Mary Taylor, PA
Governor Tom Wolf signed the agreement.
According to Steve Hedrick, CEO of South Charleston’s Mid-Atlantic Technology,
Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC), this “enables collaboration without
fear of too much competition, as the Appalachian Storage Hub would enable a win
for Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia—and Kentucky too.”
Over the past few years, industry and political officials from these states have been
working to plan and try to find financing for Cancer Alley Two. Senator Manchin
(D-WV) says he is urging all of these states to invest more taxpayer dollars to
attract the Hub. The Benedum Foundation has primed the pump by providing
$100,000 for initial planning of the Hub.
Senators Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Rob Portman (R-OH),
introduced a bill that would direct federal agencies to study the feasibility of the
Appalachian Storage Hub. West Virginia Congressman McKinley plans to
introduce similar legislation in the U.S. House. McKinley said that he’s spoken
with President Trump about the Appalachian Storage Hub, and says the Hub fits in
well with Trump’s desire for more federal infrastructure investment.
2017/)
Air Inversions: Toxic Pollution in Our Ohio Valley
The major cluster of petrochemical plants and refineries in southern Louisiana is
located in a flat area where the wind blows. The proposed petrochemical hub here
in the very narrow Ohio Valley would be surrounded by steep hills that often block
the wind. Our region is known to have frequent air inversions where pollution
settles in the valleys instead of blowing away more quickly. So we would expect
that toxic air pollution would have even more of a health impact, as compared to
air pollution in a flat area. It would be hard to think of a worse area for a large
concentration of new huge cracker complexes, chemical plants, and refineries.
There is no longer any doubt that the toxic emissions from the petrochemical plants
in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley are having serious health impacts on its neighbors. But
in Louisiana, as in West Virginia, these industries are politically powerful and
industries’ wishes are politically more important than people’s health.
(The sociologist author Arlie Russell Hochshild examines the ways conservatives
and Tea Party members in Louisiana justify the severe pollution inherent in living
near petrochemical industries in her 2016 book, Strangers in Their Own Land;
Anger and Mourning on the American Right.)
When Fracking, Pipeline Spokespeople Say Industry is Strictly Regulated,
They’re Lying. OVEC, WV Highlands Conservancy and Sierra Club, represented by
Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Public Justice, have had dozens of legal
wins relating to illegal water pollution at mountaintop removal mines.
It has literally taken many millions of dollars to make our lawsuits happen. As
large scale fracking was beginning in the U.S., the George W. Bush administration
made sure that fracking activities were free from some of the laws that govern
other polluting industries, including coal mining. So in addition to money
challenges to any potential large legal strategy against fracking activities, citizens
and lawyers would also need to contend with weaker laws.
Mountaintop removal continues in West Virginia, though not as extensively as in
the past, and “our” state government continues to grant new permits and push for
more new mountaintop removal mines. When you hear fracking proponents say
that this unconventional gas production is governed by strictly enforced laws,
please know that they are lying.
Appalachian Storage Hub is Not a Done Deal
Don’t take the lies lying down! Please join in our efforts to resist. Contact OVEC
today at info@ohvec.org or 304-5220246.
 
 
Cheryl Johncox
Beyond Dirty Fuels Organizer
Sierra Club
(740)-360-0420 

Dayton Dragons RBI “Recycling Bin Initiative” Program in Dayton

A program sponsored by the Dayton Dragons organization in Dayton Ohio works to reward people who recycle their waste and report it to earn tickets to a minor league baseball game!

When a person tracks their recycle activity for two weeks and they send a record of their recycle activity in an email to the Dayton Dragons organization; four lawn tickets to a Dragons game are made available for the effort! Dayton is improving their awareness to recycling programs and involving the Dayton community to support glass, paper, aluminum and cardboard recycling.

The Dragons “RBI – Recycling Bin Initiative” hyperlink to the website is included below:

http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?sid=t459&ymd=20110331&content_id=17232822&vkey=tickets

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee – Dayton Connections

Hithergreen Springs, Woods and Species Protection in Washington Twp. Ohio

A grassroots move to designate a wooded area with natural springs as a nature reserve is underway in a Dayton Ohio suburb. Beginning on Monday May 1, 2017 citizens of Washington Twp. Ohio are making calls, writing letters and attending meetings regarding re-zoning the wooded area and waters behind the now vacated Hithergreen Senior Center at 5900 Hithergreen Dr. Dayton OH 45429. In June 2015, township officials and developers decided to not build a nursing home on the grounds once occupied by Hithergreen School. More news is available on this decision and offered in a link below.

http://wdtn.com/2015/06/01/developers-drop-plan-for-hithergreen-nursing-home/

According to area resident, Brian Schmitz. Peebles Homes has submitted a purchase agreement to the township for fifteen acres at $250,000.00 from the list price of $950,000.00. A public comment meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 9, 2017 at  the Washington Twp. Recreation Center at 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. Dayton OH 45459. The meeting is scheduled for seven o’clock pm. The real estate listing for the Hithergreen Center is included at the web address below.

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/18710243/5900-Hithergreen-Drive-Dayton-OH/

A long time resident of the Hithergreen area in Washington Twp. Ohio, Brian Schmitz circulates a petition at my home three weeks ago while canvassing neighbors to support this campaign. In speaking with Mr. Schmitz,  I say I volunteer for the Sierra Club.  He shows me photographs of the area, sandstone fossils among other speciation work of freshwater animals and plants. I mention that if an EIS is requested from the township and to US Fish and Wildlife, some delay in development may result.

Letters to City Manager Mark Metzger are to be directed to the Washington Twp. City Hall at 27 N. Main St. Dayton OH 45458. The telephone number for his office is (937) 433-8957 ext. #2832. Contact Brian Schmitz for more information at (513) 446-5000.

Scott Bushbaum Sierra Club – Miami Group – Executive Committee Dayton Connection

Sierra Club Ohio signs on to S.B. 36 letter

The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter along with partner organizations, Ohio Environmental Council, Arc of Appalachia Preserve System, Flora-Quest, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, North Central Ohio Land Conservancy and Rail to Trails Conservancy have signed a letter to Senator John Ecklund in support of Ohio S.B. 36. Sen. Ecklund is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means in Columbus Ohio.

S.B. 36 allows farmers who use some of their land for conservation practices or who enroll some of their land in a conservation program to enjoy the lowest possible CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) tax rates for their land. This is especially important now with the tax increases many farmers are experiencing.  Moreover, this bill is strengthening voluntary measures that combat harmful algae blooms on Ohio beaches and algae blooms threatening drinking water. S.B. 36 gives Ohio farmers incentives to create riparian buffers, filter strips, and field borders. This bill helps farmers manage soil erosion and water quality issues.

The letter referred to herein is dated March 7, 2017. The bill is sponsored by Ohio Senator Cliff Hite (R-01).

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group – Executive Committee

DP&L’s Six Year Settlement to End Ownership of Coal Generation Power in Ohio

According to North American Clean Energy, The Dayton Power and Light Co, a subsidiary of the AES Corporation and the Sierra Club along with a list of parties who agree in principle to a six year settlement. This agreement will strengthen DP&L’s infrastructure, end it’s ownership of 2,093 megawatts of coal fired generation power and begin more integrated renewable generation.

DP&L has asked for an extension of the February 8, 2017 hearing date to allow more time for parties not joining the settlement, including the PUCO staff, to file testimony. The final decision on the matter is expected on March 31, 2017. If the PUCO agrees to the settlement,  the average DP&L customer can expect a rate increase of $2.39 per month.

This settlement includes a five year Distribution Infrastructure Rider (DIR) that enables the implementation of a smart grid and advanced metering. A Distribution Modernazation Rider (DMR)  will be dedicated in “continuing DP&L’s debt repayment to enable the Company to make additional capital expenditures to modernize and maintain”  their distribution and transmission systems. In the sixth year of the plan, both DMR and DIR amendments will expire and will no longer be collected.

If approved by the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, the plan calls for DP&L to exit 100 percent of it’s interest in 2,093 MW of coal fired generation. Specifically the Company will close two co-owned, coal-fired plants in Adams County, Ohio. The Stuart and Killen plants are scheduled to close in mid-2018. In addition, DP&L agrees to begin the process to sell ownership shares in the Conesville, Miami Fort and Zimmer plants. In part, this agreement begins a procurement of solar and wind generation, economic development funding for communities near the Killen and Stuart plants, funds for low income customers and a commitment from DP&L to maintain the headquarters for the Company in Dayton Ohio.

Look to the link below for more reference from North American Clean Energy’s online website from where I received much of the content, some verbatim.

http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/25523/dp-l-reaches-agreement-with-various-intervenors-in-electric-security-plan-case

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee – “Dayton Connections”

 

Wayne National Forest Fracking Strategy Session Fixed for 1/17/2017

According to the Ohio Environmental Council, a strategy session to address the concerns of oil and gas fracking in the Wayne National Forest is scheduled in Columbus Ohio for Tuesday January 17, 2017. The Bureau of Land Management opened an auction of leases between seventeen  and twenty one parcels of the forest on December 6, 2016. The auction is scheduled to begin March 23, 2017 and is open to 1,186 acres in the Marietta Unit of the forest.

The Notice of Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale is available at the BLM-ES website. The posting of the lease sale begins a thirty day protest period of the proposed leased parcels. Protests must be delivered in hard copy via postal service or fax, not emailed or by hand. The BLM received consent from the US Forest Service to offer these parcels in accordance with the revised 2006 Land and Resource Management Plan and the 2012 Supplemental Informational Report. In addition, resource specialists in the BLM Northeastern States District completed an (EA) Environmental Assessment During the process at the Athens Ranger District, public meetings were held in Athens, Ironton and Marietta Ohio. The final EA was released on October 13, 2016.

The March 23, 2017 lease sale will not authorize the successful bidders to develop their leases, according to the Bureau of Land Management, rather they are purchasing a lease which allows them to develop the parcel of land within ten years of the sale date.Because the sale does not authorize drilling, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was released at the same time as the final Environmental Assessment (EA). Although the lease holder will need further authorization before drilling or developing a well, the leases do contain some stipulation, mostly due to risk mitigation that are specific of the parcel. The risks can include soil erosion during construction, sensitive habitat disruption to the Threatened and Endangered Species Act, impairment of archeological research and detriment due to authorized recreational use.

Before any ground disturbing activity may begin on the auctioned parcels, operators must submit an Application for Permit to Drill (APD) to the BLM-ES. At that time, the BLM will initiate a site specific environmental analysis with the Wayne National Forest to determine the feasibility of the drill plan. The Ohio State of Department of Natural Resources will concurrently evaluate the APD for operational risks to groundwater.

The Bureau of Land Management oversees more than 245 million acres of public land, more than any Federal agency. The land is also known as the National System of Public Lands located in twelve Western states, including Alaska.  The BLM also administers to 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the USA. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

This collaboration between the Ohio Environmental Council, Ohio Revolution and a long list of interested organizations is scheduled at the Northwood High Building at 2231 N. High St. Columbus OH 43201. The event, hosted by Ohio Revolution, begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 8:30 pm. Off street parking is available for attendees.

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club / Miami Group – Executive Committee

 

What is next for the Tremont City Barrel Fill Landfill ?

On December 6, 2016 I received an email from Marilyn Welker a volunteer for the non profit group, People For Safe Water. Some of her work over the past two years has centered on the Tremont City Barrel Fill Landfill that is located just three and one half miles northwest of Springfield Ohio on State Route 68 at the Tremont City Transfer Waste Facility. It occupies 8.5 acres of a larger 80 acre property there at 3112 Snyder-Domer Rd. German Twp. Ohio 45502, according to EPA Superfund and German Twp. The landfill is within area near the Greater Miami Sole Source Aquifer and the Springfield Wellfield that has received attention from People for Safe Water, OEPA and residents due to the disposal of 51,500 barrels totaling some 300,000 gallons of industrial waste dumped there from 1976 to 1979. In 1980, a 10 to 17 ft. deep top layer of soil was deposited over the area considered toxic. EPA does not consider the landfill to be worthy of Superfund designation for cleanup but has asked the State of Ohio to agree to propose and begin the process for EPA Superfund money.

In recent news, US EPA Region 5 contracted with Tetra Tech to evaluate possible permanent removal of the 51,500 barrels of waste there. Tetra Tech concluded that “…The available information was insufficient for this type of ranking and consequently provided no means to deem one hazardous waste solid         than another.” In response to EPA’s request “to identify a type of waste that was likely more hazardous and solid, whose removal may be beneficial ‘still bottoms’ are one such waste.” Still bottoms are residues from distillation processes such as oil refining and solvent recycling which typically contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC’s). “In summary, there is insufficient information to identify drummed waste solids that pose the greatest threat. However removal of still bottoms would reduce the quantity of hazardous waste on site.” according to the report from Tetra Tech.

Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler discussed this report with Ohio legislators Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-District 79), Sen. Bob Hackett (R-District 10) and Rep. Bill Dean (R- District 74). Director Butler asked for a response from citizens and community leaders. The People for Safe Water responded in a letter to Director Butler on November 21, 2016 after speaking with community leaders and consultants. The letter affirms the commitment from EPA Region 5 to remove the “worst of the worst”.  The letter suggests “…remove a subset of ‘the worst of the worst’ barrels whose chemicals are both highly toxic and highly           mobile. Highly mobile meaning waste that travels through sand, gravel and soil quickly. Also, the letter recommends the support and stabilization of solids that are to remain at the site and will be reburied.

In the coming weeks, Director Craig Butler will meet with citizens and local leaders. The People for Safe Water has worked to seek common ground for an “enhanced cleanup plan”. Their approach to the Tremont City Barrel Fill landfill issue is aligned with economic benefit to the people of Tremont City and their health and safety. When I discussed this matter with Virginia Narsete, Community Involvement Coordinator at US EPA in October 2015, I was directed to the Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charlie Patterson for answers to the health concerns from citizens affected by the waste at the Tremont City Waste Transfer Facility. The People for Safe Water have also collaborated with the Sierra Club Miami Group and Ohio Citizen Action in Dayton with legal actions to oppose the Source Water Protection Plan, Ordinance 53, and a Memorandum of Understanding with OEPA from 1985 in Dayton Ohio on July 29, 2015. The material in this post online to miamigroup,org is from Marilyn Welker, People for Safe Water at mwelker@ctcn.net

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee / Sierra Club Ohio Chapter Executive Committee / “Dayton Connections”

 

Ohio Energy Update – SB 320 & HB 554

Clean energy standards are moving quickly through the Ohio legislature, according to Jen Miller, Sierra Club Ohio Chapter Director. Here is what to look for:

SB 320 – This bill is said to provide unenforceable, voluntary renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. The renewable energy standards have no requirements to demonstrate standards until 2021. Energy efficiency standards eliminate consequences for meeting requirements until 2020. SB 320 also decreases the energy efficiency requirement from 22% to 17% by 2027. Also, the bill is said to remove OEPA authority to cost effectively meet the Clean Power Plan and requires the OEPA and PUCO to pass legislation through the legislature before Ohio can participate in any carbon allowance or carbon rating to meet the CPP. This undermines Ohio’s opportunity to be cost effective in meeting carbon emission requirements.

HB 554 – This bill makes energy standards unenforceable and voluntary for 2017, 2018 and 2019. It includes the Mercantile opt-out provision and does not include Clean Power Plan or expanded energy efficiency language.

No action was taken by the Ohio Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee this week on SB 320. The House of Representatives did not meet and there was no movement on HB 554. The Senatorial Committee above will meet on November 29th at 4 pm to hear all testimony, introduce any amendments and a vote on the bill is expected. The House Public Utilities Committee will meet on Wednesday November 30th at 4 pm in hearing room 121 for a hearing on HB 554 to do the same.

Action items for Sierra Club include making in person or submitting written testimony, attending the Nov. 29th and Nov. 30th hearings, asking your Ohio Senator or Representative to vote NO on SB 320 and HB 554 (encouraging your networks to follow suit) and in writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking the Ohio General Assembly to vote NO on SB 320 and HB 554 and to move Ohio forward on a clean energy economy.

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee / Ohio Chapter Executive Committee / Dayton Connections

Stony Hollow Landfill in Dayton – Cease and Desist Order info – November 7, 2016

The Waste Management Stony Hollow Landfill in Dayton Ohio was ordered by the City of Dayton and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to stop discharging waste in to the city sanitary sewer systems. The waste is said to have clogged sewer lines and the waste is said to contain chemicals that have been linked to foul odors that have caused illness in cleanup crew employees.

The South Gettysburg site has been named in a class action claim from a Moraine resident who says the City of Moraine is negligent in monitoring the emissions. The nature of the illnesses and the number of employees i

I will follow up with any information I receive from the City of Dayton Water Interim Director, Michael Powell and his staff  regarding the Stony Hollow Landfill at miamigroup.org. See more of the story from the Dayton Daily News at the link below.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/order-bars-landfill-from-discharging-waste-after-worker-illnesses/DvzpDycosicRCrxvQzCiyH/

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club Miami Group Executive Committee “Dayton Connections”

Dayton City Paper with news about the current status of Garden Station

On August 25, 2016,  the Dayton City Paper published a news report on the “death of Garden Station…”. Staff writers Sarah Sidlow, Tim Walker, and Ben Tomkins  took opinion on the subject of Garden Station’s recent eviction notice from the City of Dayton. The Sierra Club joined the effort to stop City Properties Group LLC from Louisville Kentucky from signing the lease on the property by circulating an action alert to Sierra Club members in SW Ohio.

The lease on the community based, volunteer run, “green” space expired for Garden Station on October 31, 2016. Some advice offered to stop the expansion was to request the City of Dayton to utilize the City of Dayton Department of Parks and Recreation to purchase the lease, to contact the Five Rivers MetroParks independently of other City of Dayton requests to buy- in the lease agreement for Garden Station to remain a garden park. One other suggestion was albeit last minute; call attention to noise pollution from the nearby B&O Railroad that is known to complicate health issues for nearby residents and business. Noise pollution can contribute to stress related illnesses and heart disease. If investigation from City officials yield news that noise could bring issue to the expansion, some question as to the health of new occupants would then suggest reason to stop the commercial expansion.

Thank you to everyone who called the City of Dayton and answered the call to support the Sierra Club in defending Garden Station in writing letters and signing the action alert. Actions like this do not go unnoticed. Our message remains a strong one; sustainable, “green” infrastructure projects like Garden Station with greenhouses, rain barrels and 100% recycling projects are important to residents, tourists and children who learn from them and enjoy them in urban settings.

Read the article in the “Debate Forum 10/25” section of the Dayton City Paper in the hyperlink below:

http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/debate-forum-1025/

Scott Bushbaum – Sierra Club – Miami Group Executive Committee “Dayton Connections”