By SCOTT COTTOS
FOR THE COURIER
FOSTORIA — Momentum is growing in the effort to get Sunny Farms Landfill to clean up its act.
On the heels of Jackson Township opposing the renewal of the landfill’s operating license in Seneca County, Fostoria City Council did likewise on Tuesday night in its regular session.
Council’s opposition came on the same day that state Reps. Riordan McClain and Bill Reineke Jr. sent a letter to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Laurie Stevenson, saying the foul smell emitted by the landfill for a long time “is a very real problem and (we) believe is not being taken as seriously as it should be by those that live outside of the community.” Sunny Farms Landfill is located about four miles south of Fostoria in Loudon Township.
Though Fostoria has no legal say in the landfill’s operations, the city’s residents have often complained of the foul odors and potential health problems caused by the emission of hydrogen sulfide gas from the landfill.
Councilman Brian Shaver on Tuesday said: “I move to verbally oppose the permit renewal by the health department of the owners and operators of Sunny Farms Landfill, citing the same potential hazards, both short and long term to our citizens, specifically uncontrolled hydrogen sulfide into our environment, namely the groundwater and purpose water, until the time that the residents of our community have faith and confidence in the practices of the landfill in complete compliance with the landfill to the EPA and the health department.”
The action earned the thanks of local businessman Nate Heiser, who has closely monitored the landfill situation on his own and frequently updated council on information he has gained. Earlier in the meeting, Heiser urged council to adopt such a measure.
“I think we need to jump on the bandwagon with that,” he said.
In connection with the landfill situation, Mayor Eric Keckler said he is in the process of shopping for three hydrogen sulfide monitors for placement in the central part of the city, as well as the east and west sides.
He said some hand-held devices are currently in use, and gathering independent data “is what we need to do.”
The county health district has tabled the issue of relicensing the landfill. Heiser urged citizens to attend the district’s meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 28.
“We just have to keep pushing and let Sunny Farms know that they can’t just blow us off,” Councilman John Schuld said.