Bath Twp. to review large waste ponds tonight

Residents oppose plan to build lagoons of 8 and 24 million gallons.

Bath Twp. zoning officials tonight will review an appeal from a company that wants to install large waste storage lagoons that have sparked protests from neighbors.

An independent zoning inspector found bio-energy company Renergy’s operations were not complaint with the agricultural zoning of the land the company sits on at 1156 Herr Road. An outside prosecutor issued a cease and desist order, giving Renergy 30 days to become compliant, and Renergy appealed the order.

The Bath Twp. Board of Zoning Appeals will review Renergy’s appeal saying that the company’s operations are compliant with agricultural use and that the company should be permitted to build two storage lagoons on additional property, said Jim Miller, Bath Twp. Zoning Inspector.

The board will hear from Renergy, the outside zoning inspector and residents today at 7 p.m. at the Bath Twp. office building, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.

RELATED: Greene County residents try to block large waste ponds

Bath Twp. residents have become increasingly concerned with the foul odors they say come from the farm and increased truck traffic.

In September 2019, a Fayette County prosecutor issued a cease-and-desist order to Dovetail on behalf of Bath Twp.

Fayette County Prosecutor Jess C. Weade was brought in to advise Bath Twp. by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office because the land that Renergy operates on is owned by Bath Twp. Trustee Tom Pitstick. The township wanted to avoid a conflict of interest, Miller said.

Weade, the outside prosecutor, said the facility is in violation of the current zoning code.

Renergy, also known as Dovetail Energy, wants to build two synthetically lined ponds that would hold 8 million and 24 million gallons on property owned by Pitstick.

The company turns sewage and biowaste from municipalities and other sources into methane energy, the byproduct of which is then turned into fertilizer for crops used to feed livestock. The ponds would be used to store the liquid fertilizer material after it has been processed and treated through the biodigester operation.

RELATED: Area bio-energy farm ordered to stop operations

Renergy has similar operations in 11 other locations across the state, according to the EPA.

The five-person board could reach a decision on whether to allow Renergy to continue to operate tonight. After hearing all arguments for and against the appeal, the board will deliberate and come back with an answer.

The board can deliberate in private, Miller said, and they may decide to continue deliberations to another day.

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