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Jefferson County Port Authority still seeking landfill meeting

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County Port Authority on Wednesday said it is still looking into the purchase of the closed Crossridge Landfill.

The port authority at its December meeting discussed the matter and had a committee look into the proposal. Jefferson County Commissioner David Maple said he is attempting to facilitate a meeting between the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the port authority to discuss what the regulatory agency will require as far as remediation of environmental issues at the landfill.

Greenway Reclamation of Garden City, N.Y., has proposed reopening the landfill and making existing environmental remediations in exchange for the ability to accept a large amount of out-of-state waste.

Numerous governmental bodies have approved resolutions in opposition to Greenway’s proposal. A committee has been formed by residents in and around Cross Creek Township to fight the reopening of the landfill.

The landfill has been the subject of several lawsuits in Jefferson County since 1999, with court orders to stop the dumping of leachate and to properly close the landfill.

Maple said the Ohio EPA is open to a meeting with the port authority, and now he is working on getting it scheduled.

“They said ‘yes,’ and now we have to get them here,” Maple said.

Greg Nemeth, who was elected port authority chairman at Tuesday’s meeting, said the committee is still working on the matter. He said information will be released about the progress.

Maple told the port authority about a plan to implement zoning around the county airport. Airport officials have said an operating landfill close to the airport creates safety concerns because of the potential of planes hitting birds, which are attracted to landfills.

State regulations require a separation of 10,000 feet between a landfill and an airport. Federal regulations are six miles.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Calabria informed the commissioners last week the commissioners will be the airport zoning board, who will appoint the airport zoning commission. The airport zoning commission will study what regulations should be in place to protect the airport and make a recommendation to the commissioners for adoption.

Maple said zoning requirements, such as the height and use of buildings and property, could impact the port authority’s future development around the airport. Gary Folden, county regional airport authority secretary, said any business developments surrounding the airport are already subject to the regulations and approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Maple said it will take about six months to get the zoning regulations in place to protect the airport as an asset of the county. He said the regulations will be specifically designed as to the use of property near the airport.

The port authority’s committee working on the search for a new director has nearly completed a job description. The port authority has been without a director since August.

Jay Zatta, port authority vice chairman, said the job description outlines what the authority will require of a director. He said, once the board approves the job description, it will be advertised. He added several candidates will be contacted about interest in taking the job.

In addition to Nemeth being elected chairman, Debbie Venci was elected secretary and Zatta was named as vice chairman, all for a two-year period.

The port authority adopted a policy allowing remote video or teleconferencing for special meetings or committee meetings. Nemeth said he doesn’t want it to replace in-person attendance at regular meetings. Evan Scurti, port authority incentives manager, said the state changed the law allowing for the teleconferencing for port and airport authorities.

The port authority will next meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the authority’s office on the first floor of the Towers, 500 Market St.

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