Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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.

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

Duke Pipeline Hearing June 15, 2017

Important Public Hearing Scheduled
O.P.S.B Schedules Duke Pipeline Hearings

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will hold a local public hearing to allow the public to express their views regarding Duke Energy Ohio’s proposal to construct a natural gas pipeline extension in Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties.

The local public hearing is scheduled:
June 15, 2017 from 3 p.m. to  8 p.m.
University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash
Muntz Hall, Room 119
9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, Ohio 45236 

Duke Energy Ohio proposes to construct an approximately 13-mile long, 20-inch diameter natural gas pipeline in order to increase the reliability of natural gas delivery in central Cincinnati. The proposed pipeline would run from an existing gas main near the intersection of Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties to an existing main in either the Norwood area or the Fairfax area.

An adjudicatory hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 12, 2017, at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Hearing Room 11-A, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Additional information regarding the proposed pipeline is available on the OPSB website at in case number 16-253-GA-BTX.

You can also get more information from

ExCom Election Results

Congratulations to our newly elected ExCom (Executive Committee) members: Muslim Contractor, Josh Clyde, Marie Kocoshis, and Gail Lewin. Their term starts at our first January meeting.

Many thanks to our two ExCom members who are departing: Elizabeth Durrell and Bob Park. We appreciate all their work and I’m sure we’ll see them engaged in other Sierra Club work.

Retreat 2017

February 4, 2017

NOTICE: The retreat will be held at The Schott Pavilion at Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford

Visit with old friends & make new ones. Learn a lot & have fun. Enjoy a great winter get-away.

Saturday, Feb. 4: The Schott Pavilion at Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast & Registration
9:00 – 9:15 Housekeeping & Ice Breaker
9:15 – 10:30 Back to Our Roots: 2017 Conservation Initiatives (MSD- Marilyn Wall, Water-Matt Trokan, Transportation-Nathen Alley) Panel
10:45– 12:15 What Can We Do Now??? –Panel & discussion including:   Political – Michelle Young, City – Larry Falkin, Group – Marilyn Wall, Moderator – Melissa English.
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Free time: Visit a local nature preserve, small group discussion, learn how to test water, shop in nearby Old Milford
2:15 – 3:30 Cincinnati Bike Paths: Plans & Prospects with Frank Henson.
3:45 – 5:00 Sharpening the Edge: Planning the future of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve
5:00 – 6:00 Happy Hour
6:00 – 7:00 Dinner
7:00 – 8:00 Culture, Conservation, and Beautiful Places in Israel with Marci Taylor

Information and directions will be sent after registration.

If you have questions, please contact: Karen Nagel ( 513-542-5259, or Marci Taylor ( 513-769-1810.

We need meal numbers before January 27!

Please fill out the form in this retreat.pdf and send it to Martha Walker, 6234 Englewood, Cincinnati, Ohio 45237

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

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