Community Concerned Over Plans For Sewage Lagoon

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Residents and leaders in the Pickaway County community of Commercial Point say something foul is afoot.

They said they're furious they weren't informed of a plan to move 10 million gallons of sewage sludge, mixed with digested food wastes and animal manure, near where they live and work.

"It's right behind us. Right in our backyard basically," said homeowner Misty Laxton  "A lot of us are already upside down with the market. And now it's going to be worse because no one is going to want to move into an area with a sludge pond right behind them."

Laxton is not the only one upset.

"We have a great fear it's going to impact our village," said Commercial Point Solicitor Mike Hess.

Hess said no one from Commercial Point was notified of the lagoon.

The village sits within Scioto Township, which signed off on the lagoon back in June.

"I don't think they wanted to tell us," Hess said.

The Ohio EPA granted its approval September 27th, noting any appeals must be filed within 30 days.

"We're finding out about it on day 28," said Hess.

He feels Scioto Township officials had a professional, if not legal obligation, to notify the village.

"And they didn't, for what reason, that may be a question you'd want to ask them," said Hess.

10TV took those questions to Mike Struckman, Scioto Township Trustee, and the owner of the land where the lagoon will be built.   

He denies there was any effort to hide the plan.

"If they'd have come to the township meetings, they'd have knowed about it," Struckman said. "I don't run their business. This is a business, a farm-related opportunity to put on my crops, and that's what we're doing."

The EPA tells 10TV it found the lagoon should pose no threat to the environment or human health, and says the specifics of this project require no public hearings, only a public notice in the newspaper.

Mike Struckman says the lagoon required no zoning change so the only approval necessary came from the EPA.

Commercial Point leaders say they will be filing an appeal Friday.

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