Dayton Update November 2019

Ready for 100 moves forward in Dayton

Sierra Club representatives from both the Miami Group and the Ohio Chapter met with Mark Charles, newly appointed city of Dayton Sustainability Director, to present details of the Club’s Ready for 100 campaign.

Charles was in agreement with the goals of the campaign during the Nov. 11 meeting, and had brought Rockville MD into 100 percent renewable energy before his accepted the Dayton post. 

Chapter and Group representatives plan to meet with Montgomery County environmental officials in early December to discuss RF100. Representatives of the University of Dayton Hanley Institute of Sustainability are expected to take part. 

The Sierra Club goal is to seek a Ready for 100 pledge from both the Dayton City Commission and the Montgomery County Commission by mid-2020. In Ohio, the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati and Lakewood have already taken the pledge.

Volunteer with us on our Ready for 100 campaign efforts!

Vernay Laboratories Clean Up – Yellow Springs, OH

The US EPA is reviewing Vernay Labs proposed Corrective Measures Proposal, or cleanup plan, with the official public comment period expected in early 2020. Vernay, now headquartered in Georgia, was based in Yellow Springs from 1946 until 2003. 

Soil contamination by dumped solvents used to clean the company’s rubber parts manufacturing machinery was discovered in 1989. Initial clean up measures on the 10-acre site began in 1998. Although four capture wells have been pumping groundwater out for charcoal filtration, a contamination plume has continued to spread under a residential area in Yellow Springs. 

During the subsequent 20 years of negotiations and legal wrangling, groundwater remediation techniques have evolved, and EPA standards have followed. The Vernay company now proposes to remove contaminated soil and reroute a storm sewer, among other measures. US EPA Region 5 staff in Chicago will respond. 

In Yellow Springs on October 24 a standing room only crowd participated in discussion with US EPA staff. Yellow Springs Village Environmental Commission is leading a local effort to assure thorough vetting of the official clean up plan. More information is available at the EPA website:

Gem City Podcast

Dayton-based Executive Committee member Brian Williams was interviewed recently for the Gem City Podcast. Libby Ballengee, podcast host, asked a range of questions pertaining to Miami Group activities and goals in Dayton. The top priority in Dayton is Ready for 100 and the hope that Dayton and Montgomery County make the pledge to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. 

The podcast can be accessed at the following Gem City Podcast link: 

Eastwood Lake Cleanup

Sierra Club members took part in the second annual Eastwood Lake Cleanup in late October. The event was coordinated by Trish Brechlin, Miami Group Executive Committee member, along with Five  Rivers MetroParks and a Wright State University professor. In contrast to the 2018 event, when cleanup volunteers picked up a significant volume of debris (including a small mountain of used tires), this year’s effort was completed with relative ease. 

On the assumption that there are other sites in the Dayton area more in need of cleanup, the club plans to work the MetroParks to identify a different site for next year’s cleanup. 

Adventure Summit coming in February

The Miami Group plans to once again take part in the Adventure Summit at Wright State University on Feb. 14-15. The summit, sponsored by the university and Five Rivers MetroParks, attracts environmental organizations and outdoor vendors from around the Midwest. Dayton area members interested in helping staff the Sierra Club table should contact Nicole Wolcott: [email protected] or Brian Williams: [email protected].  

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