Press Release

OEC requests public records on lead in Ohio town’s drinking water

Statement by Melanie Houston, OEC director of environmental health

While we expect a thorough investigation by the Ohio EPA of the lead contamination in Sebring’s drinking water, the OEC is independently assessing what went wrong, and how to keep all Ohio communities safe.

In addition to Sebring, it appears several other Ohio locations, including a school in Chagrin Falls, have tested positive for unsafe levels of lead in drinking water. The OEC will work diligently to get to the bottom of this very serious public health issue and ensure the right steps are taken to protect Ohioans and hold our decision makers accountable.

The OEC has requested public records from the Ohio EPA Director’s Office, Drinking Water Division, and Northeast District Office. The request includes:

  1. Copies of any and all Lead and Copper Files of the Sebring water treatment plant facility;
  2. Copies of any and all inspection reports of the facility between July 1, 2015 and February 1, 2016;
  3. Copies of any and all Notices of Violation issued by the Ohio EPA or other enforcement actions related documents to the facility between July 1, 2015 and February 1, 2016;
  4. Email communications between and among the Ohio EPA Division of Drinking and Groundwater, the Ohio EPA Northeast District Office, the Director of Ohio EPA, and the employees at the Village of Sebring’s Public Water System.

The OEC plans to consult independent experts in its review of the records.