Board OKs legal action over sewer tie-in issue

STEUBENVILLE – Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Emanuela Agresta expects to ask for a temporary injunction within the next week to require 41 Crestview and Belevedere residents to comply with an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandate to hook up to the county sanitary sewer system.

The county board of health formally approved the legal action during Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

Health Department Sanitarian Marc Maragos reported to the board members 80 residents have not yet tied into the county sewer system.

“Thirty-nine of those residents have signed a contract leaving 41 residents who have not signed a contract and have not tied into the county system. They are still using a septic tank system,” said Maragos.

Agresta said she anticipates filing legal action against the non-compliant property owners within the next several days.

In other business during meeting, Maragos reported the OEPA took its Jerome meter back to Columbus.

The health department sanitarians were using the meter to monitor hydrogen sulfide odor emission hot spots and the perimeter at the Apex Sanitary Landfill since April 1.

Misselwitz said the sanitarians found five “hot spots” or sites with high levels of hydrogen sulfide at the landfill on March 18.

“When the “hot spots” are located and identified the landfill had 12 hours to cover the location with the appropriate amount of dirt and must test the site for hydrogen sulfide again in seven days. We will also check the perimeter as we have been with the Jerome meter to detect odors. The OEPA said that testing should be conducted once a week,” explained Misselwitz.

Misselwitz said the odor management addresses the cause of odors at the landfill as caused by the landfill operations.

“We also check the odor issues on a random schedule,” noted Misselwitz.

According to Maragos, the Jerome meter collected and provided the health department data and takes out the subjectivity from the odor detection.

“The machine costs $15,000 and the OEPA has lent us the machine for a period of time. And we used it on a regular basis,” said Misselwitz.

Maragos said the landfill operators are currently putting a temporary cap on the south slope where the hydrogen sulfide is coming from.

He also noted the landfill now is accepting oil and gas industry filings at the facility.

Misselwitz announced the health department will collaborate with the Jefferson County Veterans Services Association during the fall health fair to provide flu shots to military veterans.

And the health board approved a fee and regulation resolution for solid waste haulers in Jefferson County.

Misselwitz said the local health department is monitoring a measles outbreak in Knox, Holmes, Ashtabula and Wayne counties. “Knox County is taking the lead on tracking the measles cases and it appears to be in the Amish community. The Amish are not typically vaccinated. But we are following those cases in case they have an effect on Jefferson County,” said Misselwitz.