State seeks injunction and fines for alleged stormwater violations at Mecca Township site
By Ed Runyan
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court against KRV Construction of Youngstown, accusing it of violating Ohio water-pollution-control laws at a property on Bazetta Road in Mecca Township.
KRV is a land-excavation, landfill and demolition business that was working on a 5.7-acre property at 5079 Bazetta Road, the address of Christy DiGiacobbe Thompson, who is named as a defendant in the complaint and owns the property.
KRV has been in business since 1993, the suit says.
The complaint alleges KRV Construction; Kenneth Valentine of Altura Drive Northeast, owner and president of KRV; and DiGiacobbe Thompson conducted or allowed unpermitted construction activities and unpermitted industrial activities, which resulted in the discharge of pollutants into wetlands and a tributary of Mosquito Creek.
The suit, filed on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, says the aquifer in the area is about 40 feet below the ground surface and is used as a drinking water source for a number of potable water wells.
The suit says Ohio EPA inspectors on July 1, 2015, observed that unpermitted construction activities disturbing 1 acre or more of property was occurring at the site, resulting in discharge of sediment into the wetlands and other waters.
Inspectors also saw spent foundry sand buried and stockpiled at the site in locations that resulted in the placement of fill material in – and the discharge of pollutants to – wetlands and other waters.
The company filed the appropriate Notice of Intent for Coverage with the Ohio EPA Dec. 28, 2015, and the coverage was approved Jan. 28, 2016, the suit says.
Construction activities of the type observed at the KRV site require the person conducting the activities to file a Notice of Intent with the state at least 21 days before starting those activities, which the suit says KRV did not do.
Valentine said Thursday the matter involves his company doing what it was told by local officials, including the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office, county health board and the county Soil and Water Conservation District, but the Ohio EPA wanted something different.
Valentine says his company was building a road for DiGiacobbe Thompson. The state says the area in question is a tributary to Mosquito Creek, but it was only land that had been cleared for a road that filled up with rainwater.
He says his company did everything the Ohio EPA asked to repair any alleged damage, and now it wants a “big fine.”
The suit seeks an injunction against KRV and DiGiacobbe Thompson and an order they pay the state up to $10,000 per day for every day of the alleged violations.