Health and safety concerns prompt Warren Twp. residents to seek delay in dam removal
In Warren township residents explained there could be negative health effects for people who live along the Mahoning River in Leavittsburg.
Wednesday, October 26th 2022, 11:47 PM EDT
In Warren township residents explained there could be negative health effects for people who live along the Mahoning River in Leavittsburg. For decades the river was polluted with heavy metals, PCB's and toxins from manufacturing industries.
"Once it's stirred up it will go downstream. It's not just a Warren Township problem, it's a Warren city all the way down to Lowellville," Edward Anthony said.
He tells 21 News there are also washers, dryers, and cars in there and if the water level is lowered by the dam removal it will pose a major clean-up expense and health hazard for residents.
In addition, even when Leavittsburg gets sewer lines it doesn't take care of residents upstream whose sewage still runs into the river. Lowering the Mahoning River's water level will mean the concentration of waste will be much higher.
Debbie Roth President of Our lives Count and about one thousand residents have asked that the 3.2 million dollar dam removal project be delayed until studies can be conducted. She says studies show dam removal which will not alleviate flooding, and reduce the river flow by around half affecting water recreation.
"We want a total risk assessment both health and environmental... The lives of our people are worth more than that 3.2 million dollars for the dam removal," said Roth.
Roth told commissioners and other officials who were there could be extinct species such as mussels there, that no one is allowed to even take thier shells out of the water, but removing the dam could kill them, along with fish and wildlife.
There was no meeting of the minds. Members of the Parks board are conspicuously absent on this very important topic where community input is better heard now instead of later.
"If you are part of the board you should be able to step up to the plate and answer to the citizens' lives your affecting," Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda emphasized.
All Trumbull Commissioners were in agreement to look at what can be done to help residents who have valid concerns.
"We need to take a long hard look at this. We realize the potential for development is there, but the health and safety of the communities need to be taken into account," Trumbull Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said.
Trumbull Commissioner Niki Frenchko will be looking into the grants and if there are errors in those grants.
Roth will submit questions and suggestions residents have to Trumbull Health Commissioner Frank Miggliozzi.
The group would like to work together to reach solutions. However, if there are none they are asking Trumbull Commissioners to ask for a Temporary Restraining Order so enough time for studies to answer questions can take place.
No one from the Trumbull Metro Parks, Trumbull Planning Commission, OEPA, or Eastgate Regional Council showed up for the meeting.
21 News will be reaching out to them to ask why they did not attend.
Judge James Fredericka whose office makes appointments to the Trumbull Metro Parks Board also did not attend.