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Press advisory:
Citizens to urge U.S. EPA to revoke Ohio’s enforcement authority


November 9, 2001

Jennifer O’Donnell
(330) 374-8976; (330) 329-6208 (cell)

Citizens from around the state will describe Ohio EPA’s failure to protect public health and the environment at a U.S. EPA public hearing next week. The U.S. EPA is seeking comment on its report, released in September, that made national news and sunk the nomination of former Ohio EPA chief Donald Schregardus to the top enforcement post with the federal agency. Citizen leaders will describe their local fights to get the agency to do its job at a news conference before the start of the hearing, and the attorney who represents the citizen petitioners that prompted the unprecedented investigation of Ohio EPA will summarize the key findings of the U.S. EPA’s report.

Who:
Jill Van Voorhis, Citizens Against American Landfill Expansion
Pauline Leboda, Lorain County Neighbors Protecting Our Environment, Buckeye Environmental Network
Marilyn Wall, Sierra Club – Ohio Chapter, AK Steel Middletown campaign
Dave Altman, attorney

What:
For 20 months, the U.S. EPA has been reviewing Ohio EPA’s performance at the prompting of four Ohio organizations: Ohio Citizen Action, Sierra Club – Ohio Chapter, Rivers Unlimited, and Ohio Public Interest Research Group. On September 4, the U.S. EPA released a scathing draft report. U.S. EPA warned the Ohio EPA that unless the state agency improves its clean air enforcement programs, the federal government could take back policing authority. After U.S. EPA takes public comments on the draft report, it will issue its final report and recommendations. At the news conference, citizens will stuff a 5’7" by 3’ suggestion box for Governor Taft with thousands of pink slips for Ohio EPA director Christopher Jones.

When:
Tuesday, November 13, Noon

Where:
Holiday Inn, Worthington
Milan Room (across from the hearing room)
175 Hutchinson Ave. (at I-270 and the U.S. 23 exit)

Background on the report and investigation (.doc)