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Published: Saturday, 1/3/2004

Owner of Ohio mobile home park sued over alleged sewage violation

BOWLING GREEN - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is taking the operator of a mobile home park to court over alleged violations at its wastewater treatment plant.

The lawsuit claims Maurer Mobile Home Court at 17910 North Dixie Hwy., just north of Bowling Green, illegally sent poorly treated sewage from its wastewater treatment plant into Grassy Creek and failed to obtain permits for its modifications.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Wood County Common Pleas Court by the state attorney general s office on the EPA s behalf against the mobile home park and its owner, James Maurer.

Mr. Maurer was out of town and unavailable for comment, a park receptionist said.

The lawsuit is not the first time Mr. Maurer has run afoul of the EPA.

Michelle Gatchell, spokesman for the attorney general s office, said yesterday he was cited for similar issues during 1983-1984.

The recent lawsuit claims the mobile home park failed to conduct weekly monitoring for contaminants between September, 1997, and June, 2003.

The state claims he also failed to monitor daily for color, odor, turbidity, the amount of dissolved organic material in the water, and the discharge flow.

Those reported violations occurred beginning in April, 2002.

Mr. Maurer allegedly installed overflow pipes and constructed three ponds that are used to treat and store wastewater and sludge before obtaining a permit.

Additionally, the suit claims the mobile home park did not file a required plan that outlines how the sludge produced by the wastewater treatment plant would be managed.

The wastewater treatment plant, on Brim Road, discharges its waste into Grassy Creek, a Maumee River tributary, at State Rt. 25.

The state is seeking an order to prevent further violations and to meet all conditions of state law pertaining to the wastewater treatment plant, and to impose the maximum fine of $10,000 a day fine for each violation.

Ms. Gatchell said the state has made “numerous efforts” to reach a settlement with Mr. Maurer without success, including extending an offer of a consent decree that would have allowed him a chance to avoid litigation.

A copy of the proposed settlement was mailed Dec. 4, with an end-of-the-year deadline for a reply, but no response was received, she said.

The state is not asking for the mobile home park s closing, she said.

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