Published: Friday, October 7, 2005
Committee voices ideas on dumps
The report included comments by Niles and Liberty state lawmakers.
By JEFF ORTEGA
COLUMBUS The Ohio House of Representatives will likely act on still-to-be unveiled legislation reforming construction demolition and debris landfills, House Speaker Jon A. Husted says.
Husted, a suburban Dayton Republican, said this week he's unsure of a timeline.
State Rep. John P. Hagan, an Alliance-area Republican, said he'll sponsor the legislation that stems from a special legislative committee's study of the CD&D landfill issue.
"The attempt here is to have better oversight," said Hagan, who said his bill would likely be unveiled in the next two to three weeks. Hagan sat on the study committee.
There are at least 69 active CD&D landfills in Ohio, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says.
Representatives of the landfill industry couldn't immediately be reached to comment.
Hagan says there are fears that there could be more in this state as landfills fill up in states east of Ohio.
The bipartisan study committee, formed because of provisions in the recently enacted two-year, $51.2 billion state budget, made many recommendations related to CD&D landfills in the area of siting criteria, background checks and permitting.
What group came up with
In its final report, the study committee recommended that the dumps not be sited at least 500 feet from a residence; 500 feet from a national park, state park or recreation area; or 100 feet from a so-called perennial stream.
On background checks, the committee recommended developing disclosure requirements covering both permit applicants as well as operators.
State law says that proposed CD&D dumps cannot be in a 100-year flood plain or within the boundaries of a sole-source aquifer.
According to the committee's report, the background information collected should include a listing of every CD&D dump that a prospective owner and operator runs; a list of all administrative enforcement actions pending against that owner and operator; a list of all civil actions in which the owner/operator was found to be liable; and all criminal actions in which the owner and operator has pleaded guilty to or was convicted of in connection with state and federal environmental regulations.
The committee also recommends that the Ohio EPA establish a uniform Permit to Install application for all licensing agencies.
The budget provisions also established a six-month moratorium on new CD&D landfills. The moratorium expires Dec. 31.
The committee's final report included comments from state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood, a Niles Democrat, and state Sen. Marc Dann, a Democrat from Liberty Township, who sat on the committee.
Harwood's objections included concerns about the siting criteria and the lack of an extension of the moratorium beyond Jan. 1. She said she believes proposed CD&D dumps should be at least 1,000 feet from residences.
Dann recommended 5,000 feet between such dumps and residences.
A group of activists filed the initial paperwork to place an issue on the November 2006 statewide ballot that would bring CD&D landfills under the same regulations as solid waste landfills.