Jefferson County Health Board Deals With Odor Issues At Apex Landfill

STEUBENVILLE — With almost 100 odor complaints filed against the Apex Sanitary Landfill in Amsterdam since the beginning of August, Jefferson County Board of Health members expressed disappointment the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency declined to attend the board’s meeting Tuesday.

Board members had asked representatives from the OEPA to attend the meeting but were turned down by agency officials, according to Marc Maragos, director of environmental health for the county health department.

“They are willing to discuss questions during a telephone conference call or we can submit a list of questions in writing,” Maragos said.

Maragos suggested the board move forward with preparing a list of questions to submit to the OEPA.

“The board can add to the list at our next meeting. We need to move forward on this. I am not happy with their position on not coming to our meeting,” board member Dale Featheringham said.

Board members agreed to instruct the department’s Environmental Health Division to prepare questions about the landfill.

Maragos told the board there were 64 odor complaints filed against the landfill in August, and there have been 30 odor complaints this month.

In other business during the meeting, Administrator Dr. Frank J. Petrola said he has been in contact with the Ohio Department of Health and was told the only way the local health department can inspect nursing homes is if it has “criteria above and beyond what the state requires.”

Administrative Assistant Annette Stewart said the health department is now accepting hospitalization insurance bids.

“We have received a bid from Anthem, which is 2 percent less than what we currently pay. They are proposing a one-year contract,” Stewart noted.

Stewart added the health department will start staggering employee lunch hours on Oct. 1 to maintain office hours throughout the day.

Cindy Deavers of the nursing division said the number of Lyme disease cases is declining,

“We have a (tuberculosis) patient in the county who is undergoing treatment. And, we are offering flu shots at our offices and will start offering flu shots in Toronto on the last Wednesday of the month,” Deavers said.

The board approved a contractual change for plumbing inspector services following the elimination of the Steubenville Health Department.

“Our contractual agreement for plumbing inspector services will now be with the city of Steubenville,” Stewart said.