Residents Challenge Sewage Lagoon Plan

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Ten million gallons of sewage brought out a crowd in Pickaway County Monday night.

The Village of Commercial Point hosted a town meeting in response to plans for a sewage lagoon.

The man behind the plan faced a furious community.

Community members packed the gymnasium at Teays Valley Middle School to unleash their anger and frustration about the plan that many of them didn't know about until the end of last week.

Hundreds of people stood against one man.

Mike Struckman is an elected official. He is a Scioto Township Trustee.

He's also the landowner who wants to rent out one of his fields for a 10 million gallon lagoon to hold sewage sludge mixed with digested food wastes and animal manure.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has granted a permit. The agency says the lagoon poses no threat to the environment or human health.

Monday night's crowd wasn't buying it.

"How can you in good conscience do this to a neighborhood full of children?" one woman asked.

"Why can't you just step up and go somewhere else?" asked another.

"I think it is an absolutely horrible idea that will destroy hundreds of millions of dollars in property value," said a third opponent.
The arguments ranged from outraged to emotional.

One mother broke down as she said her family is considering walking away from a home they're building that would be within a mile of the proposed lagoon.

"This is my 4 year old. I have a 4 month old up against the wall. And I will not put my kids there," she said.

10TV asked Struckman whether he'd been swayed by anything he'd heard.

 "No," he replied. "I'm still in the same position I was. I haven't decided if it's going in or not."

Despite warning after warning of negative impacts from the crowd, Struckman remained unconvinced.

"I feel bad for anybody that might be hurt for this," he said. "But nobody has proven that it is."

The Village of Commercial Point, along with a local developer and medical center filed appeals of the EPA's permit.

It's not clear when a decision could come on those appeals.

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