Monday night's Barnesville Village Council consideration of the proposal to halt current work to extend sewer service to the Industrial Park was understandably emotionally charged.
Clearly every member of Council and all Village officials care deeply about public health and safety. But they also mean to fulfill existing contractual agreements to extend the sewer line north to the Regional Industrial Park.
So, moving forward and setting aside emotions for the moment, Village Council could adopt something like the following:
1. Acknowledge their ongoing commitment to extend sewer service to the Industrial Park. But having already voted and publicly declared their opposition to the EnerGreen project they could adopt a resolution to "temporarily suspend" further work on the sewer line extension pending the conclusion of the Port Authority's negotiations with EnerGreen 360.
2. Furthermore they could adopt a resolution demanding that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources establish rules and enforcement measures for the handling, transportation, and disposal of the huge volume of hazardous waste being generated by the industry in our region. Additionally they could urge area townships and the county commissioners to send similar messages to the state.
Council members speak for all of us when they express their concern about how these waste materials are being handled. We can not afford to gamble with the public's health.
Years later, when the research finally links rapid increases in serious health problems to exposure to concentrated toxic and radioactive wastes, is too late.