Renergy faced similar opposition in SW Ohio

By Anthony Conchel - The Sentinel

FAIRBORN, Ohio — A company that has Westfield Township residents upset faced similar opposition in southwest Ohio late last year.

The Dayton Daily News reported Oct. 13, 2018, that The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gave approval for Dovetail Energy LLC, also known as Renergy, to expand its biodigester operations in Bath Township.

Green County residents, who have complained about the farm’s odor and truck traffic, planned to appeal.

Those are similar concerns as those voiced by nearly 70 residents at a meeting in Morrow County Feb. 4 with members of Renergy’s management team.

The newspaper reported plans were to add two, 2,000-gallon heat tanks and a 230,000-gallon feedstock tank at the Green County facility.

The story quotes resident Kassie Lester, who said they have hired an attorney to address what they consider is a zoning violation — allowing an industrial operation in an agricultural zone.

That same issue also came up at the meeting in Westfield Township, where residents and Morrow County Prosecutor Charles Howland questioned Renergy officials about the operation.

Legal research is ongoing into the issue here, Howland told The Sentinel May 2.

“It no longer has agricultural status, according to the Ohio EPA in its letter Dec. 20,” Howland told residents. He also established that there is no hog feeding operation on the property, acording to Cari Oberfield, chief operating officer of Renergy Inc.

Renergy accepts sludge loads from multiple municipalities and counties.

Residents in Green County have voiced concerns much like those heard in Westfield Township during the township trustees meeting three months ago.

“We still have odor issues. Truck traffic is still heavy. We’re not going to give up. We think everyone in this township should be treated the same,” Lester told the newspaper.

According to its web site, “Renergy is a green energy company founded by a third-generation farmer with a passion for progressive agriculture.”

By Anthony Conchel

The Sentinel