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Norton resident questions ‘facts’ of EPA mandate

10/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Every week we get the West Side Leader and I look forward to reading about all the surrounding communities as well as my own, Norton. However, I am saddened by the lack of actual facts being stated regarding the sewer issue in Norton.

Your writers continually state the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] has mandated sewers in the Nash Heights section of Norton. This is not factual. If someone at your paper would just take the time to read the actual letters from the EPA, they would see that the only mandate that has been issued is to “fix the problem.” The EPA has never once stated that Norton must install sewers in Nash Heights or any other area of Norton.

There are many, many other ways to correct this situation, none of which our mayor, administrator or Council president will even consider. There are people in Norton who are under the impression that if their septic system is fairly new, this sewer project will not affect them. Some have told me the current administration has assured them of this. Wrong. It will affect everyone in Norton who does not currently have sewers, regardless if your home was just built this year or 100 years ago.

This is a costly project that our administration is not being completely honest about to the public. Nor do they choose to sit down with the public and have a conversation about other ways to solve the problem, which would make one ask “why?” and “what is in this for them?”

Per emails brought to a Council meeting a few weeks ago, [Summit County Public Health] is clearly asking the Norton administrator how he would like them to handle certain situations. Isn’t Summit County Public Health capable of acting on its own? Why would they need to be told what to do? If anyone cares to actually look into this situation with an open mind, they will see that there are things going on in this administration that just don’t make sense.

I have no idea where or from whom the reporters on your staff get their information. But I know that many times it is just not factual. Responsible journalism reports facts not opinions or information that is misleading. Please come and read these EPA letters for yourself, and then I believe the columns written will be stated very differently.

Ellen Wolfe, Norton


Editor’s note: Ms. Wolfe is correct regarding the reported mandate by the Ohio EPA director that sewers must be installed in the Nash Heights neighborhood. In the Ohio EPA director’s proposed administrative orders, dated Sept. 13, 2013, to Norton Mayor Mike Zita, he states the Ohio EPA requires “the City to submit a general plan for abating pollution and correcting the unsanitary conditions.” The letter also states, “In general, the residential lots within the Nash Heights area exhibit characteristics unsuitable for or detrimental to, new or upgraded on-lot individual sewage disposal systems due to their respective size and soil conditions. Accordingly, the replacement or repair of existing on-site sewage disposal systems is an unacceptable solution to remedy the unsanitary conditions.”

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