West Carrollton has received a one-month extension to clean up city-owned land where an undetermined amount of illegal material was dumped, prompting a criminal investigation.
Health officials said they are granting West Carrollton’s request for more time to comply with an order issued Feb. 10 by Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.
That order — which outlines five violations by the city — gave West Carrollton officials 30 days to clean up non-hazardous, illegal materials dumped and buried at a Hydraulic Road site being redeveloped near the Great Miami River. The new deadline is April 10, said Tom Hut, a public health official.
The site — the former Appvion waste water treatment location that was donated to the city last year — remains closed as the city pursues a criminal investigation into the dumping and moves forward with the cleanup, officials said.
Illegal dumping ranges from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances, Hut said.
“Please be assured that the city intends to bring the property into full compliance with the rules and requirements of the Ohio Administrative Code,” the request by West Carrollton City Manager Brad Townsend states.
“The disposal of illegal materials on this property occurred without the city’s knowledge, but we understand that as the property owner we are ultimately responsible for the removal,” the letter states.
The risk to public health and the environment, along with why more time was needed, were all factors in the decision to grant the extension, Hut said. Mattresses, wood, piping, and construction and demolition debris were among the illegal items found at the site, according to documents obtained by this news outlet.
“We have not found any other material that would elevate the risk to human health or the environment,” Hut said.
The city was using “clean, hard fill” — legal items such as concrete — to help level portions of the nearly 30 acres that is designated for recreation use.
Citing the ongoing investigation, West Carrollton officials declined to discuss specifics of the case, but Hut said Friday the amount of illegal materials dumped and buried at the site was not known at this point.
“It wasn’t isolated to one or two loads,” he said. “It wasn’t household trash or anything hazardous. But it was intermingled extensively through the loads.”
The city intends to meet with “the entity we believe is the offending party to present our evidence and offer the opportunity for that party to voluntarily cooperate” to correct the violation, Townsend’s letter states. If that fails, the city will seek bids for the removal of the materials, according to the letter.