PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss
Ohio EPA Holding Hearing about New Compost Facility Rules
Public Meeting Dec. 19 in Columbus
Significant rule changes are proposed for Class I-IV composting facilities that establish requirements for constructing, operating and closing compost facilities. These new and amended rules will be the subject of a Dec. 19, 2017, Ohio EPA public hearing.
The hearing begins at 10:30 a.m. at Ohio EPA’s Central Office in the Lazarus Government Center, 50 W. Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus. During the hearing, Ohio EPA will accept comments about the proposed rules. Individuals wanting to present testimony can register by calling (614) 644-2160. Visitors to the building must present a photo ID.
The proposed rules package includes:
- allowing the Ohio EPA director to issue statewide approvals for specified compost facilities to accept alternative materials;
- allowing siting of a facility within the 100-year floodplain if the owner or operator can demonstrate that the facility will be constructed and operated to prevent washout of any waste materials by a 100-year flood;
- allowing siting of a facility less than 500 feet from an occupied dwelling with written consent of the dwelling’s owner;
- reducing setbacks from waters of the state for facilities in enclosed buildings or structures that prevents rain from reaching the waste handling areas and collects leachate within the enclosed handling areas;
- adding vermicomposting (worms) as an approved composting method;
- setting requirements for Class I, II and III facilities that compost animals remains or raw rendering material, including having an operator trained in animal composting through The Ohio State University Extension Service; and
- proposing acidic anaerobic fermentation as a method of conditioning compost.
Ohio has four types of compost facilities. Class IV facilities may only take source-separated yard waste; Class III facilities can accept yard waste, agricultural and animal wastes; Class II facilities can take those materials and food scraps; and Class I facilities can accept mixed solid waste.
After considering public comments, Ohio EPA will make any necessary changes and finalize the rules. Comments on the rules may be presented at the hearing, or submitted in writing to Ohio EPA, Division of Materials and Waste Management, Attention: Michelle Mountjoy, Lazarus Government Center, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or by emailing Michelle.Mountjoy@epa.ohio.gov. The comment period ends at close of business Dec. 19.
More information on the proposed rules update is available online at the Division of Materials and Waste Management Nonhazardous Waste Rules and Laws webpage. See information under the “proposed rules” tab.
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.