Renergy plans to include the Morrow County ruling in its final brief submitted in the Dovetail case on Monday, COO Cari Oberfield said.
Biodigesters use bacteria deprived of oxygen to break down food and animal waste into fertilizer and methane gas. The methane gas is burned to supply electricity, and the fertilizer is spread over approximately 2,200 acres of surrounding farmland.
Residents of both Bath Township and Morrow County have heavily criticized the facilities for odor, environmental, and health concerns.
“The stench and noise from the biodigester are constantly emitted from the defendant’s premises at all times of the day and night,” court documents read. “The people of Westfield Township are deprived of the enjoyment of their property.”
Trustees said the assertion that anaerobic digesters are a public utility has broader implications than just Morrow County or Bath Township.
“We still don’t believe they’re a public utility,” said Bath Twp. Trustee Kassie Lester. “It takes the township’s hands out of controlling what’s happening in the township. The issues caused by this facility in this township, we have no control over whether they can expand and cause additional odors and problems.”
Oberfield said the company is both pleased and unsurprised by the ruling.
“We’re happy to finally be done with one and looking forward to finishing up in Greene County so we can move forward once and for all,” she said.