Public hearing held Tuesday on Rumpke chemical deodorizer - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

EPA holds public hearing on Rumpke odor

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COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) -

The debate over how to control the odor emitted at Rumpke's Struble Road facility came to a head Tuesday night at a public meeting in Colerain Township.

A lot of passionate arguments as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) heard public comments.

The EPA must approve a request made by Rumpke to modify its permit and increase its odor neutralizing chemical, but many residents are not only opposed to increasing its usage, they want it banned completely.

"I don't want to be sick," demanded Jean Smith, a Colerain Township resident who lives near the site. "I want my 30 pounds back, I want my life back, I want my teeth back that you took from me. Are you willing to do that? Stand up and say so."

Concerned residents like Jean Smith put their feelings on the record in hopes that the Ohio EPA will deny Rumpke's request to increase its use of an odor neutralizing chemical.

"I personally think that the smell of the Febreeze or whatever it is they're throwing into the air is just as bad as the landfill," said resident John Kerr.

What residents want is a solution, not a temporary fix, to the underground chemical reaction that is causing a rise in land fill temperatures and odors.

"When I moved here that odor wasn't here," said Dennis Richards. "Now it's here and it's here with a vengeance. We can't give our home away."

But not all residents are upset. Some see the value of Rumpke's services and think if this option is the best right now, Rumpke should be awarded the modification to its permit.

"They try to fix the odor, we complain," said Jo Rengering. "There are some people, there are some people that won't be happy no matter what."

Rumpke says the chemical is plant and vegetable based and non-toxic.

"The EPA has said this is safe," Rengering added. "I believe it is. I do not believe that the Rumpke's would have their family living and working near some place that was not safe."

Sixteen people testified at Monday's meeting and the public comment period is still open.

No decision was made the meeting, but the Ohio EPA expects a decision to be made in the coming weeks.

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