SALINEVILLE-Members of the village council approved the formation of a joint committee, comprised of council and the Board of Public Affairs (BPA) members, to address repairs and updates needed at the village waste water treatment plant.
The formation of the committee on Monday comes in response to issues brought to the village's attention by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month. At the Feb. 17 council meeting, members were presented with an EPA letter informing them of multiple issues at the waste water plant, which placed it in violation of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
The letter details the findings of Ohio EPA Environmental Engineer Joseph E. Trocchio PE., who visited the plant Jan. 28 and met with BPA members and the plant operator. Major findings included an out of service comminutor, which grinds solids so they can pass through the system. Due to the malfunctioning comminutor, plant operators must screen solids manually with a bypass bar. Trocchio called this method of screening away solids "marginally effective."
Trocchio also states that a review of the waste water treatment plant's discharge monitoring reports from January through December 2013 also turned up "significant violations" in additional to the mechanical problems at the plant.
At that time, the EPA gave the village two weeks to respond in writing with a plan of action to address the issues uncovered by the inspection. Trocchio's letter also stated that the EPA is aware of the village's financial difficulties and suggest council and BPA pursue state grants through the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance to fund the necessary repairs and updates.
Councilman Brian Zaverl said Monday the new joint committee's main purpose would be to search for funding.
"We want to form a joint committee to explore ways to finance this plant and to get it repaired so we can get in compliance with the EPA," said Zaverl.
The five-person committee will include Zaverl along with fellow council members John Higgins and Nancy Needham, and BPA president James Brammer and board member Kim Adams.