Patriot Water fires back at OEPA and ODNR, alleges government abuse. (Read statement after the jump)
Patriot Water Treatment in Warren, Ohio thanks the city of Warren, neighboring communities, Legislators, Local Governments, Business owners and citizens in the valley and state for their support. We have received letters, emails, telephone calls and positive comments through the news media from many who understand that our company has done nothing wrong. Our most recent victory was against the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in a trial held by the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) (July 3, 2012). OEPA and ODNR chose ERAC to be the arbiter in their dispute with our company rather than having us all appear in Trumbull County Court, which Patriot was willing to do.
Despite our repeated requests for public information, OEPA and ODNR withheld more than 1,250 records until days before trial, with approximately 330 additional records supplied aftertrial. In fact, these agencies are still withholding public documents today. The facts presented in our ERAC hearing, and the ruling at the conclusion of that hearing, prove that Patriot and Warren present no danger to the environment and confirmed that these state agencies worked together to provide approval for our facility. In short, the ERAC ruling confirms that Patriot can operate pursuant to a lawfully issued permit. These were positions Patriot has asserted from the start of this prolonged legal battle. It should be noted that, during this process, several witnesses from Patriot and Warren were eager to testify before ERAC while OEPA Director Scott Nally refused to testify under oath… not once, but twice.
We had hoped to work cooperatively with OEPA and ODNR and, in fact, on several occasions, Warren and Patriot asked agency representatives to come to our facilities for a tour. They refused without explanation. We have opened our facilities to visits from USEPA, injection well owners, legislators, mayors, council, media, schools, professors, oil and gas producers, trucking companies, trade organizations and others with questions. We have nothing to hide. To the contrary, we are proud of our innovative process for cleaning water and believe it serves Ohio’s environmental interests.
OEPA and ODNR continue to make misleading, incorrect statements about our positive ruling from Ohio’s environmental court and our operations. These agencies persist in their aggressive attacks on our small business despite the ERAC ruling, and they do so with no regard to the impact on public health, safety and jobs. If we, as a community, do nothing in the face of this governmental abuse, you can be assured other Ohio businesses will fall victim to similar unfair treatment in the future.
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