FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commissioners Oppose Wastewater Discharge Permit Modification for Sunny Farms Landfill
[Fostoria, OH – May 12, 2023] — On May 11th, the Seneca County Board of Commissioners submitted written testimony to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) opposing the application submitted by WIN Waste Innovations to modify the wastewater discharge permit for Sunny Farms Landfill in Fostoria.
According to the testimony, the board’s stance is rooted in its opposition to any expansion or growth at the landfill and concerns about water quality in the county’s streams. If approved, this permit application would allow Sunny Farms Landfill to take another step toward its proposed expansion, which the commissioners publicly opposed with a resolution approved on June 23rd, 2022.
The board emphasized potential issues, particularly regarding sulfur dioxide emissions and the drainage system, which could contaminate state waters. The testimony confirms awareness of deficiencies in the drainage system that were observed in the last two NPDES inspections.
“We align ourselves with the governor’s leadership and the state’s vision to safeguard the purity of the water in our community. Therefore, we urge the Ohio EPA to deny the permit application submitted by WIN Waste Innovations to modify the wastewater discharge permit for Sunny Farms Landfill,” Commissioner Bill Frankart said during a speech during the May 11th public hearing.
The board also called on the Ohio EPA and other regulatory agencies to hold the Sunny Farms Landfill facility to the highest standards of state and federal rules, regulations and laws.
Frankart said he had concerns about some of the things mentioned by OEPA personnel at the hearing, including that the organization is currently not doing independent or follow-up testing of discharge at the facility due to being “limited on resources.”
He said the Ohio EPA receives more than $2 million in funding each year from fees generated at the landfill, and he is disappointed that a higher level of oversight is not being accomplished.
Commissioner Frankart continued, “We believe that the health and well-being of our community should be the priority here. We have already opposed the expansion of Sunny Farms Landfill and the modification of the wastewater discharge permit is just another step toward that expansion. We urge the Ohio EPA to consider the concerns of our residents and deny the permit application submitted by WIN Waste Innovations. We also request that the Ohio EPA conduct a thorough environmental impact study before considering any further expansion at the landfill.”
The Seneca County Board of Commissioners’ written testimony and Commissioner Frankart’s speech, in conjunction with resolutions approved in February 2019 and June 2022, continue to demonstrate the county’s opposition to major expansion plans at the facility. This expansion would significantly grow the footprint of the landfill both horizontally and vertically, allowing for more waste to be accepted daily. If the permit is approved by the Ohio EPA as submitted, it would increase the landfill’s allowable daily intake from 7,500 tons to 12,000 tons, making it comparable with the intake currently allowed at Ohio’s largest landfills.
Also in the testimony, the commissioners requested that the Ohio EPA provide answers to several questions raised by concerned residents, including the feasibility of completing a comprehensive environmental impact study and the potential impact of denying the NPDES permit on the standing of the application for expansion.