Columbus—Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) announced he will introduce legislation to address the water crisis in Sebring.  One part of the legislation will require local water systems and the Ohio EPA to notify the public much sooner when tests show that a community’s drinking water is unsafe.

“Notifying the public has to be a top priority,” said Senator Schiavoni.  “This legislation would spell out the EPA’s duty to protect Ohioans by responding more quickly when there’s a water crisis like the one in Sebring.  The Ohio EPA has known since at least September that lead was found in the village’s drinking water yet the agency did not inform the public until January 21st.  While village officials share some of the responsibility, it’s clear the EPA could have acted sooner but chose not to.”

Yesterday, Senator Schiavoni sent a letter to Craig Butler, the Director of the Ohio EPA, requesting documents including emails, memos, text messages and other records of communication between EPA employees or between Ohio EPA employees and any other government office related to testing results in the Sebring water system.  The letter also reiterated a request for answers to questions that were submitted last week but remain unanswered.

Senator Schiavoni is working with State Representative John Boccieri (D-Poland) on the legislation that will include input from environmental groups and other experts.  The legislation will be formally introduced in the near future.

A copy of yesterday's letter to the Ohio EPA can be found below:

 

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