Request comes under old rules
The Girard Health Department has the final say on the license.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says the company looking to open a landfill off U.S. Route 422 here will not have to meet new state regulations to begin operation.
Local opposition to the landfill, however, will continue.
The Ohio EPA decision was detailed in a letter to a representative of Total Waste Logistics, the company looking to open a site off Route 422 behind the Golf Dome.
According to Joany Snider, Ohio EPA environmental specialist, the state Legislature recently passed more strict regulations on construction- and demolition-debris landfills. The application for the proposed Total Waste Logistics landfill, however, was submitted before passage of the new rules -- making that landfill exempt from many of the changes.
Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA media coordinator, said Total Waste Logistics will not be made to meet new requirements detailing where the landfill can be placed; can operate under an operator's license instead of a license and permit as prescribed under the new regulations; will not need to reveal its past environmental history as prescribed in new regulations; and will be exempt from various new setback requirements.
Pierce said the landfill will not be subjected to many rules in the new state regulations, but local officials still have a hand in the process.
"It is still up to the Girard Health Department to make the decision to grant the license," she said.
How things stand
The city hired Columbus-based Bennett & amp; Williams Environmental Consultants in July 2005 to examine the Total Waste Logistics landfill application for deficiencies. The firm has found numerous questions and deficiencies in the application on several occasions and sent it back to the company. City officials are waiting on a response from Total Waste Logistics on the most recent questions on the application.
Total Waste Logistics is not the only party interested in the land off Route 422. The city has expressed interest in acquiring the land, possibly through eminent domain, and using it for recreational purposes and general enhancement of life for city residents. The property is owned by an entity called the Navy Partners, from Maryland; its makeup was not immediately available Friday.
Mayor James Melfi has said the proposed land acquisition has nothing to do with blocking creation of the landfill. He said acquiring the land would be in step with plans laid out for the city years ago.
According to Melfi, the Trumbull County Planning Commission in 2000 suggested that the city acquire the old Ohio Leatherworks property of Route 422 and some surplus land owned by Central Railroad Co. along the Mahoning River. Discussions at that time included the possible installation of a bike path along the river that would provide regional linkage to Youngstown and Niles.
Sam Pagano, a member of Girard United Against Ruinous Dumping, a citizens group opposed to the landfill, said the group will continue its fight against the landfill.
"Firstly, we have to see what is going on with eminent domain, then we will have to work through our representatives. That is what we are going to do," he said.
GUARD will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in city hall. There will be discussion on the EPA letter and an update on attempts by the city to acquire the property for recreational purposes.