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Health Board Right On Landfill Plan

October 18, 2012
The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Jefferson County Board of Health members are right to be concerned about a proposed expansion of the Apex Sanitary Landfill. More needs to be known about the proposal before the local board should consider giving it a stamp of approval.

Apex officials want to accept non-hazardous liquids from oil and gas drilling operations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is considering the proposal.

But this week, the local health board voted unanimously to oppose the plan.

Health department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz put the board's concern succinctly: "The landfill can't control the odors ... so how are they going to control this?"

Residents living near the landfill have complained for years about foul odors emanating from it. Though the facility's owners have taken steps to control the problem, complaints continue.

It may be that the proposed new operation is safe. But health board officials are right to want more information about it, and possibly a public hearing on the proposal, before agreeing.

Neither the health board nor the OEPA should approve the plan without being 100 percent comfortable with it.

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