2/9/16
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer

Ohio EPA Issues Another Notice of Violation to Sebring

Ohio EPA today issued a notice of violation to the village of Sebring for failure to correctly communicate recent test results and guidance to those homeowners who requested voluntary water sampling and failing to submit its required weekly report on water chemistry. A copy of that violation can be viewed here.

On Jan. 21, 2016, Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler mandated that the village offer free water testing for any resident who requested it to give them peace of mind about the quality of their drinking water. Since then, 664 of 698 samples tested below the federal allowable level, including results received today. The village is required to notify any resident of their lead results and provide them with an information sheet detailing how to minimize their lead risk. A previous notice of violation to the village of Sebring on Jan. 21 reaffirmed that responsibility.

“When EPA staff followed up this weekend to conduct cautionary testing on a few homes that tested above the federal allowable level, it became evident that the village had not notified these residents of their recent test results as quickly and thoroughly as they should have,” said Butler. “I expect the village to keep the public in mind and provide prompt information to its residents.”

The weekly report, due each Monday, must detail pH and alkalinity monitoring results. The village failed to submit these reports on Feb. 1 and 8. Ohio EPA also has required the village to provide contact information for any impacted resident as additional voluntary test results are received so that the Agency can follow up with these individuals.

As the village collects and processes voluntary water samples taken by hundreds of residents, Ohio EPA has been following up on some readings in an abundance of caution. These follow up tests confirm that the water coming into the homes is healthy and turning on the tap for several minutes successfully eliminates any detectable lead in the water.

Ohio EPA continues to work closely with the village of Sebring and the U.S. EPA to fine tune the water chemistry to minimize lead from leaching into the water from piping of certain homeowners. Recent test results confirm that the village’s water plant is lead free.

Despite the fact that most results are below the federal allowable level, the village is still required to provide bottled water or filtration systems to homes where results are over the federal allowable level and work with the county to provide health screening for residents. In addition, the village must complete all immediate, short-term, and long-term actions required by the Ohio EPA Director. To minimize their lead exposure, all residents should follow guidance in public education documents provided by the village and, to flush out the lead, run their tap water for 30 seconds to two minutes before using it.

Ohio EPA will continue to release new results as they become available.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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