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East Cleveland Recycling Company Appeals EPA Shutdown Order

A pile of debris now sits on a site sold off by East Cleveland in 2014. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
A pile of debris now sits on a site sold off by East Cleveland in 2014.

A recycling company in East Cleveland is appealing an order by the Ohio Environment Protection Agency to shut down, while the agency is asking the state attorney general to begin enforcing the order in court.  

Arco Recycling filed the appeal nine days after the agency told the center to clear away a mound of construction debris piled on a property near people’s homes.

The appeal says the state EPA doesn’t have the authority to shut Arco down, and adds that the company hasn’t been given adequate time to carry out the order. An attorney for the company declined to comment.

An initial conference on the appeal is scheduled for March 1 in Columbus.

East Cleveland sold off this piece of city-owned land in 2014 as part of its plan to dig out of fiscal emergency. Arco Recycling moved in and used the site for disposing parts of demolished houses. Soon a pile of refuse towered near a residential street.

In January of this year, the Ohio EPA concluded the company was letting the pile grow rather than bringing it down. The agency ordered Arco to stop taking in material and gave the company two weeks to haul it all away.

In a Jan. 30 letter, Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler asked state Attorney General Mike DeWine to “initiate civil proceedings including all necessary and/or equitable actions as may be deemed necessary and seek appropriate penalties against Arco.”

This week the state EPA issued another notice of violation against Arco.

“Ohio EPA will continue to document Arco’s compliance and noncompliance with the director’s orders,” Deputy Director of Communication Heidi Griesmer wrote in an email to ideastream. She wrote that the appeal does not put the director’s order on hold, adding, “Arco must still comply.”

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.