Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart was among proponents of Senate Bill 119 who testified in front of the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Oct. 11. The bill, which is sponsored by State Senator Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), proposes changes to laws governing the transfer and disposal of solid waste and construction and demolition debris.
The focal point of the changes are concerns regarding Sunny Farms Landfill (SFL) in Fostoria, which received approximately 2.1 million tons of waste in 2022. Frankart referenced SFL’s documented failure to meet the standards of the Federal Clean Air Act and its numerous Ohio EPA violations in his testimony.
Among the changes proposed by SB 119 is the creation of a new permissive and variable fee for construction and demolition debris that would equip local health boards with the funding needed to increase oversight of landfills. In Seneca County, greater oversight can help better protect nearby residents from any detrimental environmental impact stemming from SIL practices.
Frankart said the ultimate goal of the bill is to ensure the health and safety of local residents.
“Among the various actions taken in recent years, Senate Bill 119 provides the most comprehensive approach to help us achieve this goal to represent our citizens and to show them that their voices are not going unheard,” he said.
Fostoria City Councilman Don Mennel also provided testimony at the hearing. Among his concerns were the lack of city jurisdiction over the landfill.
“Currently, the city of Fostoria has no oversight or control over the landfill but suffers all of the consequences, including odors, decreased valuations for property and homes, and trash that escapes the trains and trucks,” Mennel said.
Ongoing litigation limited Seneca County Health Commissioner Julie Richards from giving detailed testimony, but she attended the hearing to read a resolution from the Seneca County Board of Health endorsing support of SB 119.
SB 119 was passed by the Senate on June 21. The Oct. 11 hearing was the second hearing on the bill before the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.