EPA sets 26 conditions on Ohio quarry restoration

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency this week spelled out 26 ways it expects Rocky Ridge Development to tighten monitoring, reporting, and operations at the company’s quarry in Ottawa County’s Benton Township.

The quarry is where the company is burying state-approved residue from Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant.

The directives are in a new land application management plan, that modifies the permit for site operations the state agency issued to Stansley Industries, Inc, an affiliated company, on November 13, 2014, reports the Toledo Blade.

The Ohio EPA clarified its position that only waste generated by the Toledo water-treatment plant is to be used — a mixture of spent lime and trace amounts of other chemicals used to soften, disinfect, and otherwise treat drinking water the city produces for its nearly 500,000 metro area customers.

The blend that Rocky Ridge buries must be at least 65% soil, with no more than 35% drinking water treatment material, according to the permit.

In apparent response to concerns raised by Benton Township residents, the state agency also made clear Rocky Ridge is not yet authorized to place any of the material or do any of the blending in a sand or gravel pit, a limestone or sandstone quarry, an area with less than a 10-foot buffer from groundwater, or any area “that has been deemed to be highly susceptible to contamination.”

“Stansley or Rocky Ridge shall not cause pollution or place or cause to be placed any [water-treatment residue] blend in a location where it causes pollution to any waters of the state, except in accordance with an effective [US EPA] permit,” one of the conditions states.
Another forbids contamination of wetlands and other federally protected waterways.

John Taddonio, Rocky Ridge development manager, said the company has no problem with the 26 conditions and said they help clarify expectations. The current permit, which expires at the end of 2019, authorizes the residue blend to be used only for general fill, improving drainage, and building berms, he said.

Later this year, Rocky Ridge expects to hear if it will be authorized to put the material into the quarry. If so, the Benton Township site would become the state’s first quarry to be refilled with such material.

Rocky Ridge envisions that as a 10-year project that also would include a lot of planting to convert the site into wildlife habitat.

“We believe it’s very safe. The science supports that,” Taddonio said.

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