MAHONING COUNTY Ohio EPA files lawsuit against local developer



The development is about 60-percent occupied.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- A local developer is being sued by the state for work done during the excavating and development process of one of the township's newer developments.
The suit, filed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, alleges Joseph Zdrilich of Youngstown-Pittsburgh Road, Poland, polluted Yellow Creek and did not follow terms and conditions of a permit for storm-water discharge in association with construction activities.
The state asks that Zdrilich be fined $10,000 a day for each violation.
According to the suit, in 1993, Zdrilich applied for and was given a permit to discharge water from 14.1 acres of the total 53 acres that make up the Ivy Hills development. He started work on the area in 1994, but disturbed about 33 acres of soil, vegetation and trees -- more than double the permitted amount of area, the suit states.
It also says Zdrilich's activities during the excavating and development process resulted in the discharge of "excess sediment and storm water into Yellow Creek," which is a tributary of the Mahoning River, polluting the creek..
There is also a list of terms for the permit that the state says Zdrilich violated.
Zdrilich said he was unable to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit because he had not seen it, but has done nothing out of line with the rules set forth by the county.
Other problems?
The suit, though, may not be Zdrilich's only problem with Ivy Hills.
According to township Road Superintendent Gary Dawson, the streets in the development are not official township roads because some minor work in the development has not been completed so the township has not assumed responsibility for the roads.
Dawson said Zdrilich has also failed to maintain a bond or letter of credit on the construction work that remains unfinished. A bond would ensure that any and all work is completed to local and state specifications.
Until the rest of the work is done and the township assumes responsibility for the roads, the township is not required to do any road maintenance in Ivy Hills, Dawson said.
Zdrilich, however, says all the work is complete and the streets do, in fact, belong to the township.
"To the best of my knowledge they have accepted it and everything is done," he said. "People have built their houses there and everything is done. The township takes care of the streets and everything."
Dawson, however, said the township does plow the streets and cut grass along the right of way because "people do live in there and those people pay taxes." But the township is not likely to do any paving or repairs to curbing and pipes, he added.
jgoodwin@vindy.com

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