Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) sent a follow up letter to the director of Ohio EPA in regard to the many still unanswered questions about the Sebring water crisis. The letter reads as follows:

Dear Director Butler:

I am writing as a follow up to my January 22, 2016 letter.  While I appreciate your response from January 26, 2016, many of our questions remain unanswered.  I therefore reiterate and expand upon prior requests and would be happy to receive that information both through conversations with Ohio EPA staff and through responsive records.

Reiteration of Timeline Related Questions:

  1. When did testing last take place prior to August 2015? What were the results of those tests?
  2. When were the tested households in Sebring and Beloit informed of the August/September 2015 test results?  This should include what if any documentation Ohio EPA received from Sebring regarding notifications or public education and when that was received.
  3. Are there available copies of the citations/violations issued?
  4. When did Ohio EPA staff start providing on-the-ground assistance in the community?
  5. When were Ohio Department of Health and local health or emergency management officials notified?  When did they begin providing water or setting up lead testing options?

 

Reiteration of other Related Questions:

  1. Does Ohio EPA have a standard additional waiting period after a violation is triggered?  Why the delay between the deadlines and the issuance of violations?  According to the documents provided, there appears to have been no communication from the Ohio EPA to the Village of Sebring from December 3, 2015 until January 13, 2016.
  2. Is there any rule that prevents Ohio EPA from directly notifying the public – especially if a local system has missed deadlines?
  3. What is the breakdown by which water systems are required to report every six months vs. annually vs. triennially?
  4. How many places in Ohio are under current public education requirements due to government action level exceedance?
  5. How many homes in Ohio have pipes that could be susceptible to this type of corrosion?

 

Additional Request:

I appreciate your provision of documents of communication between Ohio EPA and Sebring.  I am now also requesting emails, memos, text messages, or other records of communication between Ohio EPA employees or between Ohio EPA employees and any other government office related to the testing results in the Sebring Water System.  I also request any internal policies, procedures, or rules detailing how Ohio EPA staff is directed to respond to reports of an exceedance or a failure of a local system to fulfill its obligations.

This information is necessary for us to fully address concerns of the Ohioans I represent and evaluate what legislative action is needed to both correct this crisis and prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

Sincerely,

Joe Schiavoni

State Senator

33rd Senate District

 

A copy of the letter is attached below:

 

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