Marisa Twigg, Communications Coordinator, November 3, 2022
Columbus, Ohio — Yesterday, the Ohio Environmental Council, Center for Biological Diversity, and Darby Creek Association appealed the permit for the Village of Plain City Wastewater Treatment Plant’s proposed discharge increase into Big Darby Creek.
Issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) on October 3, 2022, the permit doubles Plain City’s approved effluent discharge directly into Big Darby Creek from 0.75 million gallons per day (MGD) to 1.5 MGD. Ohio EPA approved the permit despite hundreds of public comments calling for a halt to new wastewater permitting in the Darby until comprehensive environmental review and planning is completed.
The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Nathan Johnson, Public Lands Director for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):
“We’re appealing this permit because Ohio EPA has the duty and authority to better protect the Big Darby Creek and the sensitive species that live there. As the Clean Water Act is celebrated for its 50th anniversary, now is the time to ensure strong safeguards are in place for one of the most biologically rich streams in the entire Midwest.
The Big Darby is a natural jewel for Central Ohioans, and countless school children and families play, learn and recreate in its waters every year. We will lose the Darby’s rare and declining biodiversity forever if we don’t act now to protect it.”
The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to John Tetzloff, President of the Darby Creek Association:
“We are disappointed that we must resort to a legal appeal when in the past, cooperation and collaboration have driven the effort to protect Big Darby. In Franklin County, the Ohio EPA placed a pause on new development until conservation planning was in place. All we ask is that similar care be shown in the rest of the watershed.”
The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Will Harlan, Biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity:
“The endangered mussels in Big Darby Creek are dying and headed toward extinction. Mussels are nature’s wastewater treatment plants, filtering out pollutants and cleaning our rivers for free. They once lined the banks of Big Darby Creek for miles; now only a few small populations remain. Fish are also threatened: a catfish only found in the Big Darby Creek watershed was recently declared extinct. Big Darby’s fish and mussels need less pollution and more protection.”
Additional Information about Big Darby Creek and the Plain City Wastewater Treatment Plant:
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.