By Katelyn Sattler
A sand and gravel business located on Rathmell Road is working to comply with EPA guidelines.
According to Obetz officials, Mason’s Sand & Gravel received 10 violations from the EPA from July 18, 2018 through March 3, 2021. The violations range from Ohio Revised Code violations of “sewage, sludge, sludge materials, industrial waste, or other wastes in a location where they cause pollution of any waters of the state” to EPA permit violations of “Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities.”
The company has no complaints listed with the Better Business Bureau.
Obetz officials must go through the EPA to fix the issues because the facility is in Hamilton Township and Rathmell Road is under Obetz’s jurisdiction. Obetz Administrator Rod Davisson and Obetz Mayor Angela Kirk do not want to issue moving violations to the truckers because the drivers have no control over the violations.
The company came up with a plan. According to Mason’s Sand & Gravel employee Joe Henson said the company put gravel down and ran a street sweeper to clean the street as needed. The company purchased a water truck to hose off the road if it gets muddy. It also dug a ditch on Rathmell Road to catch any runoff and put up an EPA-approved fence to catch silt or runoff. Henson said there is 100 feet of entrance, but Obetz wants him to pave only 35 feet of it. He said paving only 35 feet would not accomplish what Obetz officials want because it is not long enough to get trucks in and out of the facility, but Obetz will only give him a permit to pave 35 feet.
”We’re trying to be good stewards,” said Henson. “We’re trying to work with the EPA and the village. If they see an issue, they should stop in and tell me so I can take care of it right away.”
Davisson said the company has been cleaning the street.
Representatives of Mason’s Sand & Gravel will have a phone conference with EPA officials and Davisson asked to be included to represent Obetz’s concerns.
“We all agree the EPA and Mason’s Sand and Gravel need to work together to come up with a workable plan,” said Kirk.
Obetz officially a city
Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose proclaimed Obetz to be a city, as of Oct. 21, based on the 2020 U.S. Census showing the town’s population is over 5,000 residents.
Obetz officials have 120 days from that date to follow through with setting up the city as described in the Village Charter.
“It’s exciting. We will have access to grants that are available to cities under Ohio law,” said Kirk.
Davisson said one of the few changes will be the creation of a Personnel Review Board. In anticipation of becoming a city, most of the signs have already been changed.
“We only have three or four signs left to be done,” said Davisson.
In response to a resident’s complaint, Davisson said six flashing speed limit signs will be delivered by Thanksgiving. One will replace the sign knocked down by a drunk driver earlier this year.
Obetz will also install new stop signs at Orchard Lane and Sedan Avenue.