latest headlines

Dayton reaches $1.5M settlement over nuisance odors

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:48 PM
By: Cornelius Frolik - Staff Writer

The city of Dayton has agreed to accept a nearly $1.5 million settlement with an agricultural and industrial company over discharge issues that led to sewer blockages and foul odors.

Cargill’s corn milling plant in Dayton produces about 3 million to 4 million gallons of waste every day that is fed into the city’s sanitary sewer system, city officials said.

The city took enforcement action against the company because its discharge was causing blockages in the sanitary sewer as well as an unpleasant smell, said John Musto, Dayton’s chief trial counsel.

The blockage issues have been resolved, officials said, and the city and Cargill will work together to try to reduce smelly hydrogen sulfide levels in the waste water system associated with the company’s discharge.

“The settlement also provides a framework for the parties to work together to identify a cost-effective method for preventing odors in the city sewer serving the corn mill,” said Kelly Sheehan, spokeswoman for Cargill.

MORE: Dayton faces long-term budget issues, despite income tax hike

Since 2014, the city of Dayton issued Cargill a series of notices of violation and administrative orders for not following regulations related to pretreatment of wastewater discharge, officials said.

The company, which has a plant at 3201 Needmore Road, appealed about 41 of the notices.

But the city and Cargill have reached a settlement in which the city agrees to rescind the notices of violation and the company will drop its pending appeals.

Cargill was required to pay penalties to the city to appeal the notices, which were held until the appeals were decided, Sheehan said.

MORE: Why the NACCP wants Dayton voters to decide on traffic cameras

Under the settlement, the city will keep that money to help pay for odor control trials and sewer cleaning, Sheehan said.

“Cargill’s wet corn mill in Dayton, Ohio, takes great pride in operating in compliance with all environmental laws and Cargill’s own strict environmental standards,” she said.

Cargill also agreed to stop using lime in the pretreatment process last year, and there have been no blockages in the system since that time, said Musto.

Cargill and the city expect to discuss setting parameters on the company’s wastewater discharge to reduce sulfates in the system, which causes hydrogen sulfide, leading to stinky odors, Musto said.

The city wanted a resolution that addresses toxic odors in the wastewater system but that is also cost-effective for Cargill, who is an important employer and community partner, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

“This takes care of issues from the past,” she said.