Breaking News
More () »

Ohio EPA public meeting for Sunny Farms Landfill air permit focuses on concerns over stench, gasses

The controversy over the Sunny Farms Landfill in Seneca County is far from over.

TIFFIN, Ohio — The controversy over the Sunny Farms landfill in Seneca County is far from over. The stench and gasses prompted calls for the dump to close, but the managing company, Waste Innovations, followed Ohio EPA guidance to clean up and its operating license was renewed.

But community members said they're tired of waiting for the issue of stench and gasses to be resolved. Community members like Lora Wolf, one of the administrators for the Facebook group Sunny Farm Landfill complaint group, said change can't come soon enough. She added that some feel the Ohio EPA isn't holding Sunny Farms accountable.

"A lot more oversight, I don't know if the EPA is actually been doing enough," Wolf said. 

Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA's Media Relations Coordinator, said they're doing what they can.

"Whatever the environmental regulations are, our job is to make sure that they are operating within those parameters," Pierce said.

Both Ohio EPA and Waste Innovations Community Engagement Manager Ben Nutter noted that changes in air quality have already been made for the better.

"March of 2019, we had over 500 calls to the complaint hotline. In this year, I think the most we've gotten on any month is five," Pierce explained. 

"I understand, you know. I grew up here. I get that if the right thing isn't being done, it can be problematic for the community, and this is us doing the right thing," Nutter said.

At issue tonight, a permit for equipment to control sulfur dioxide emissions. If approved, Sunny Farms will have 550 days to install the system. 

Nutter explained once they get this approved, they'll work as fast as they can to install the equipment. But, this isn't the end to their efforts.

"It's the first step in making the gas clean up so that it's usable in some other form. Maybe industrial or back to a pipeline or something like that," Nutter said. 

Wolf said this meeting did answer some of her questions, but it still wasn't enough.

"Mostly no, because a lot of the stuff is being done after the fact and it should have been done years ago. So, it isn't really helpful for the people out there to know that they've been breathing high gasses unnecessarily," Wolf argued.

Though the public meeting is over, the Ohio EPA is accepting public comments until 5 p.m. on Sept. 7. 

They'll take written comments submitted through mail to Alyse Wineland, Ohio EPA Northwest District Office, 347 Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green, OH 43402, or feel free to email them to alyse.wineland@epa.ohio.gov.


Before You Leave, Check This Out