Monday, September 29, 2003

Waste water plant opposed

Residents to implore Clermont commission

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BATAVIA - Miamiville residents fighting a possible waste water treatment plant along the Little Miami River will take their concerns to Clermont County commissioners tonight.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the county administration building, 101 E. Main St.

Residents think the county wants to build its new sewage treatment facility along the river's banks near Wards Corner Road and Ohio 126. County officials acknowledge they want to build a waste water plant, but deny choosing a final site.

Residents have asked the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to reject the county's request for a permit to discharge into the river, contending it will degrade water quality and drive away recreational users.

They've launched a letter-writing campaign and they are working with environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Little Miami Inc. to fight the plant.

County officials say the new plant would replace at least two other existing facilities and process up to 2 million gallons of water per day.

But Tom Yeager, director of the county's Utilities Department, told residents in an Aug. 28 letter that "initial flow" would be far less than the requested amount, closer to 200,000 gallons per day.

"Only 113,000 gallons would be new discharge since we would be removing two existing plants totaling 87,000 gallons per day," Yeager wrote.

Clermont rushed to get its application to the OEPA because it is competing against two other communities for approval.

Mason, in Warren County, wants space along the Little Miami to build a 13-million-gallon- per-day treatment plant, while the Metropolitan Sewer District in Hamilton County hopes to expand its existing Sycamore plant to 9 million gallons per day, with the potential for processing up to 30 million per day.

"Clermont County's request represents less than 1 percent of the discharge from these (other proposed) facilities initially and only 8 percent at full capacity," Yeager wrote.

Even so, residents say the Little Miami can only support so much before it becomes polluted, driving away hikers, bicyclists and canoeists who enjoy the river.



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Sunday's local news report