Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece Urges Governor, Ohio EPA To Release Funds For Compost Cincy Site Clean-Up
Lawmaker joins City of Cincinnati efforts to repurpose undistributed grant
September 08, 2014
 
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Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) recently sent a letter to Governor John Kasich and the Ohio EPA in support of the City of Cincinnati’s request to repurpose a grant to clean up the Compost Cincy site on Este Avenue, a failed composting site in Rep Reece’s district. 


“An efficient and effective cleanup will allow the City to rebound from the failure of Compost Cincy,” stated Rep. Reece. “The market for organic materials to be recycled is still great in this region. The City is working with stakeholders on strategic waste management goals, but we will need public and private support for any new project to move forward. The longer this site sits stagnant, the harder it will be to erase the memory of failure from the minds of stakeholders.”


In May of 2013, Compost Cincy was awarded a grant to support site improvements, fund equipment for processing materials and create jobs at the Winton Hills location. The funds were never disbursed due to Compost Cincy’s failure to comply with state law and Cincinnati city contracts.


The City of Cincinnati has since taken possession of the site and is now performing required cleanup and restoration. The City’s proposal would meet the intended objectives of the original grant and relieve nearby businesses and residents of the site’s noxious odor. If repurposed, the grant will cover most of the approximately $300,000 needed to clean up the site.


A copy of Rep. Reece’s letter can be seen below:


August 28, 2014


Ms. Terrie TerMeer
Environmental Administrator
Division of Materials & Waste Management
Ohio EPA
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049


Re:         Compost Cincy Market Development Grant


Dear Ms. TerMeer:


I am writing in support of the City of Cincinnati’s request to repurpose the Market Development Grant awarded to Compost Cincy in May 2013.  The City requests that a portion of the grant dollars be used to fund the City of Cincinnati’s cleanup plan for the former Compost Cincy facility located on Este Avenue in the Winton Hills neighborhood, which sits in my House District.


Compost Cincy operated a commercial compost facility on City-owned property for over a year.  During that time, the surrounding businesses and residents tolerated extremely noxious odors emanating from the site, due to the poor management and lack of oversight of operations.  The City ordered Compost Cincy to shutdown the facility by December 31, 2013.  The state operating license also expired at that time.  However, Compost Cincy failed to comply with regulatory requirements that required removal of all compost products, solid waste, and collection systems from the site.


The City has shared a Workplan with Ohio EPA outlining a process for finishing the compost remaining on site and restoring the site to its pre-existing condition (or better).  However, the City is unable to fully fund the Workplan at this time. We are requesting that Ohio EPA assist in these efforts by repurposing the Market Development Grant awarded to Compost Cincy in the amount of $250,000 to facilitate the completion of the compost process and closure of the site.  The Market Development Grant was awarded under the Ohio EPA’s Organics Recycling grant category and focused on organics and food waste diversion. The grant was awarded to Compost Cincy to support site improvements, fund equipment for processing materials, and create two jobs. 


The City’s Workplan will meet the intended objectives of the grant by diverting the remaining organics and food waste left onsite (approximately 40,000 cubic yards) from the landfill.  The site remediation will also have a positive economic impact in the region by retaining neighboring businesses that employ nearly 250 people with an annual payroll of approximately $9.3 million. These business owners have made it clear that the site is a continuing nuisance that will no longer be tolerated without action.  Nearby residents have also voiced concerns about falling property values as a direct result of the site conditions. 


An efficient and effective cleanup will allow the City to rebound from the failure of Compost Cincy.  The market for organic materials to be recycled is still great in this region.  The City is working with stakeholders on strategic waste management goals, but we will need public and private support for any new project to move forward.  The longer this site sits stagnant, the harder it will be to erase the memory of failure from the minds of stakeholders.


I appreciate your consideration of this request.


Sincerely,


Alicia Reece
State Representative
Ohio HouseDistrict 33


CC:
John Kasich, Governor, State of Ohio
Pamela Allen, Chief of Division of Materials & Waste Management, OEPA
Holly Christmann, Director, Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services
Larry Falkin, Director, City of Cincinnati Office of Environment & Sustainability


 


 

 
 
 
  
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