Heritage settlement with EPA, DOJ doesn't quell residents' envir - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Heritage settlement with EPA, DOJ doesn't quell residents' environmental concerns

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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio -

With representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and Heritage Thermal Services all on hand for Tuesday's public hearing to explain a settlement between Heritage and the government, the aim was to quell concerns of East Liverpool residents about alleged violations at Heritage's waste incinerator.

"We have been negotiating with the DOJ and U.S. EPA since 2015 for a small pressure release incident back in July 2013," said Heritage Thermal Services president Chris Pherson.

But it wasn't long before that hearing just led to new concerns and tough questions.

"Why wasn't the East Liverpool City Council, the mayor, involved in the decision to negotiate," asked one man.

The consent decree means Heritage will have to pay more than a half million dollars in fines and lead abatement projects.

In 2013, untreated gas, steam and boiler ash were released after a duct rupture.

The government says that even going back to 2010, Heritage violated the Clean Air Act on hundreds of days.

And despite the settlement Heritage reached with the government, many of the residents still believed the damage had been done.
One woman got emotional when she talked about her concern for whistleblowers at the incinerator.

"A lot of these people won't say nothin' cause that's the only way of feeding their family," said Missy Stoddard. "So it's like well we might die in 20 years but we're going to feed our kids today."

The lead abatement projects are expected to be finished within two years.
The settlement includes a 30 day public comment period, and there's still time for residents to submit their questions.

You can find the link to do that by clicking here: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

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