Correction: Sierra Club Files Comments, Not Objection, to Cafaro Project
Editor’s Note: The headline on this article has been corrected for accuracy. The Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club filed comments to the OEPA regarding the project, not a formal objection. This mistake was brought to our attention by interested citizens who emphasize that any opposition to the project is based on its location in a wetlands area.
HOWLAND, Ohio — The Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club has filed a three-page written comment with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that outlines its concerns about the agency granting a surface water permit for the $374 million Enterprise Park project the Cafaro Co. proposes to build on a 106.7-acre site here.
The written comment, submitted by Elissa Yoder Mann, conservation manager for the chapter, begins by asserting, “It is clear that part of the development is going to impact the 100-year floodplain.” This area is “widely known to be prone to flooding,” the document states. “Given consideration to changes in FEMA funding and subsidies for flood insurance, it is unclear how much taxpayers would ultimately be responsible for flooding expenses.”
The agency held a hearing Dec. 3 on the application from North Eastwood LLC, a Cafaro subsidiary, for a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Individual permit. The deadline for written comments to OEPA was Dec. 10. Should OEPA grant the joint permit, the project would advance.
The Cafaro Co. says the business park would create 2,200 jobs and generate $99 million annually in local payroll taxes, $443,000 in sales taxes and $6 million in real estate taxes.
One of the objections voiced by the Sierra Club centers on the Howland Township Comprehensive Community Plan adopted in 2010.
“Priority was deliberately placed on natural resource preservation,” states the document. “The project site is situated in the Mosquito Creek Corridor in between and adjacent to protected conservation areas, according to the Trumbull County auditor: 141 acres directly to the west and owned by the Trumbull County Metro Parks and 84 acres directly to the north and owned by Howland Township; both were purchased with Clean Ohio funds. Howland Township prepared a Clean Ohio grant application to purchase the 82 acres of the project site but was outbid at the last minute by the current owner, North Eastwood LLC,” the objection states.
“This is simply the wrong place to build,” he said.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.