MACEDONIA – City Council on Oct. 10 approved an agreement to acquire the 22-acre property formerly occupied by Bedford Anodizing at 7860 Empire Parkway. The site is just south of Highland Road and west of the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks.
According to the ordinance passed by Council, the property is owned by the state of Ohio under forfeited land status, and is included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act closure process.
The Ohio EPA had sued the metal finishing company and its owners in 2016 for hazardous materials violations. Named defendants were Bedford Anodizing Co. and Bedford Anodizing Realty Co., both based in Hudson, and New Bedford Metals LLC and New Bedford Management LLC, both based in Cleveland, as well as two individuals, one of whom was later dismissed from liability.
The defendants later that year were ordered to pay penalties totaling more than $1.4 million.
The complaint came after several years of inspections and violation notices following a 2011 inspection that found aluminum hydroxide leaking into a ditch and nearby storm drains which lead to Brandywine Creek.
In 2012, the EPA notified the company of further violations regarding the storage of hazardous waste and determined the company was a "large quantity generator of hazardous waste."
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and began removing assets such as scrap metal, tanks, vats and other building components from the facility, which allegedly resulted in additional hazardous waste pollution, according to the complaint. Inspectors found that during this process, more waste water containing hazardous materials was released.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Ohio EPA responded to a report that "a greenish cloudy waste material caused a fish kill in a tributary of Brandywine Creek," the suit states. "Ohio EPA determined the source of the waste material was once again a release from the facility."
Another violation was issued in February 2014 regarding hazardous waste disposal and storing hazardous waste in "at least six vats and a tank at the facility." In addition to failure to evaluate waste in more than 500 containers, site security, emergency preparedness, tank standards and other violations.
The U.S. EPA returned from May to August 2014 and completed an extensive cleanup effort that included removing hazardous waste liquids from tanks, vats and containers, plus hauling more than 2,000 tons of neutralized sludge and contaminated soils to a permitted facility for disposal.
The Summit County health department cited the company in early 2015 for accepting solid wastes.
The ordinance authorizing the property’s purchase says Macedonia may be responsible for certain remediation and/or monitoring of the property as may be required by the Ohio EPA/U.S. EPA upon finalization of the closure plan.
City Law Director Mark Guidetti said the environmental issues eventually were cleaned up.
Guidetti said there is one large building on the 22-acre site. The city will pay not more than $1,000 to acquire the parcel, which Guidetti said could be used for a number of purposes, including green space, a park or a public facility, or it could be sold.
Council authorized an amendment to the Northfield Center Township-Macedonia Joint Economic Development District agreement, which would add 21.5 acres to the JEDD’s territory.
A public hearing on the addition of the parcel took place prior to the regular Council meeting, but no one spoke.
The addition of the acreage is part of a consent decree between the township and Spitzer A-Team, which allows rezoning of 16.6 acres on the north side of Route 82 just west of Route 8 from residential to commercial. The JEDD board must grant final approval.
Council also created a technology advancement fund, where funds will be placed to improve the technological efficiency and operations of various departments.
"We’ve been experiencing a great deal of problems with technology recently," said Mayor Nick Molnar. "One example is our telephone system going down several times. Money will be placed into this fund to allow us to upgrade our technology systems."
According to the city’s revised 2019 expenditures ordinance, $300,000 initially will be placed into the new fund.
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