EPA finds area biodigester in violation of Clean Air Act

GREENE COUNTY — The United States Environmental Protection Agency has found the owners of a controversial biodigester in Greene County in violation of the Clean Air Act.

News Center 7 has previously reported residents have long complained about foul orders from the facility, located on Herr Road in Bath Township .

>> PREVIOUS REPORTING: Fairborn, Bath Twp. serve notice of intent to sue over alleged violations at local biodigester

Multiple lawsuits were filed against the biodigester including a joint lawsuit by Fairborn and Bath Township officials.

The lawsuit names the U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA as well, claiming both agencies failed to enforce the Clean Air Act and allowed the biodigester to operate without the proper permits.

Now, the U.S. EPA has found the biodigester’s owners have violated EPA permits.

Among the violations are a flare designed to burn off excess gas in processing feedstock was not running for more than a year, according to the notice of violation.

From June of 2020 until last October, they continued to accept incoming feedstock for processing despite this.

In the notice, the EPA told the biodigester’s owners, Reneregy and Marengo, if they do not take steps to prevent future violations they could face several consequences including judicial and criminal action.

>> Ohio Attorney General files lawsuit claiming violations at Greene County biodigester

Lorie Venable is with a citizens group and said it’s been negatively impacted by industrial biodigesters.

She said they’re concerned the biosolids produced and sold to farmers as fertilizer may not have met EPA safety standards and could harm crops and ultimately consumers.

The biodigester’s owners were given 10 days to request a conference with the EPA.

News Center 7 reached out to Renergy for comment but has not heard back.