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Sebring Water Case

In the wake of the Flint MI catastrophe, the village of Sebring Ohio (Mahoning county) discovered lead in the water system. Here's a log of the media coverage

July 21, 2016 Vindy.com Sebring charges reinforce commitment to safe water
State charges filed last week against the former water-system operator in Sebring illustrate that Ohio means business when evidence mounts that those entrusted with protecting the purity of our drinking water fall short. They put other would-be derelict protectors of clean water on notice that irresponsible behaviors will not go unpunished. Adjudication of that case against James Bates of Salem, coupled with enactment this summer of stronger state clean-water statutes, should put an end to the controversy flowing from the high lead levels in that Mahoning County water system that triggered a public-health scare earlier this year. posted
August 13. 2016

March 24, 2016 vindy.com Sebring continues free bottled-water distribution
There is a limited supply of bottle water at the distribution center at the Sebring Community Center, and the village wants to make sure all those who need water are receiving it. No consumer will receive a supply exceeding six days per distribution. All residents and businesses receiving bottled water must have their residence or businesses tested for lead contamination or they shall be disqualified from receiving free water, according to a village news release.

March 19, 2016 Vindy.com Sebring gets USDA water grant
The village has secured a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant of more than $400,000 to help cover expenses related to its water-supply system. The grant, which requires no local matching money, was announced Friday by village Manager Richard D. Giroux. “This award substantially minimizes the financial impact of the water crisis to the village,” Giroux said. The grant is coming from the USDA’s emergency and imminent community water assistance program.

3/6/16 vindy,com Sebring boss knew of leaded water Oct. 7; he said he found out Dec. 3
Sebring’s water-treatment operator alerted the village manager last Oct. 7 to the lead problem in the village water system, nearly two months before the manager has said he believed he was first informed of the issue.d he wasn’t aware of the problem until early December
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February 27, 2016 vindy.com 28 of 29 water samples in Sebring show acceptable lead levels
The latest round of tap-water tests in the village shows 28 of the 29 most-recent samples were below the federal allowable limit for lead. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced the latest testing results in a news release Friday. Combined with earlier voluntary test results received, 999 of 1,044 samples have been below the federal allowable level of 15 parts per billion.

2/18/16 vindy.com 2 fired, 1 demoted in Sebring lead crisis
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency fired two employees in its central office and demoted another in its Northeast District office in the wake of the Sebring Village water lead crisis. Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler said the actions were taken after an internal administrative review of the handling of the Sebring water issue. The internal review concluded that an Ohio EPA central- office employee responsible for sending laboratory results from that office failed to ensure that data was provided to the field office to help it conduct its review.

February 12, 2016 vindy.com Blood level screening and lead water testing continues in Sebring
Village water-system customers whose tap water has tested above the federal 15 parts per billion lead limit may call the Mahoning County Board of Health to arrange for a free blood lead- level screening and lead-risk consultation, village Manager Richard D. Giroux has announced.

February 7, 2016 vindy.com 3rd round testing shows few homes above allowable lead limit
The Ohio EPA released a third round of tap water test results Friday from Sebring Village homeowners who asked to have their water tested for lead. It determined that 144 of the 150 samples were below the federal allowable limit for lead, which is 15 parts per billion.

February 6, 2016 vindy.com Sebring council to mull water ordinances

February 5, 2016 vindy.com Sebring lead paint hazard removal OK sought
Mahoning County’s lead hazard-control director wants to meet any lead-paint hazard-removal needs in Sebring-area homes as soon as possible. Phil Puryear said he’ll seek permission from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to spend federal grant funds to perform any needed lead-paint remediation in the homes of Sebring-area people showing elevated blood lead levels,

February 04, 2016 Cleveland.com Excessive lead levels detected in tap water in 9 samples tested in Sebring, Ohio EPA says
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nine homes tested in the Mahoning County village of Sebring showed lead levels in tap water in excess of federal allowable limits, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced late Thursday. Of the 259 homes tested, 250 of the water samples were within the legal limits for lead set by federal standards, the EPA said in a news release.


February 3, 2016 WKSU Ohio's Sen. Brown is sponsoring a bill requiring notice of lead problems
the bill also cuts the time required to come up with a solution from 18 months to six

February 2, 2016 WKSU Six Sebring residents are found with elevated lead levels
But the Mahoning County health commissioner says there's no way to prove water contamination is to blame

February 2, 2016 Vindy.com Health board tests food vendors’ tap water
The Mahoning County Board of Health staff has been busy collecting and lead-testing water samples from licensed food sellers connected to the Sebring public water supply system, for which the state has declared a water-supply emergency based on elevated lead levels.

February 1, 2016 WKSU Ohio Rep. Boccieri calls for speedier water warnings
The Sebring water crisis is raising awareness of the lag time allowed for water contamination warnings

January 31, 2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ohio town has water problems like those in Flint, Michigan
SEBRING, Ohio — Mayor J. Michael Pinkerton was in JP’s Snacks & Sodas one day last week, eating his lunch and drinking a big glass of water that had been drawn from the tap. He was one of the few, according to waitress Abigail Aberegg. She hadn’t filled many water glasses at the restaurant since Jan. 21, when the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ordered the local water authority to notify its 8,100 customers that unsafe levels of lead had been found in the water at several homes and school drinking fountains.

January 29, 2016 Canton Repository Sebring, Ohio EPA officials criticized for tainted water
Ohio Democrats in Congress and the legislature, meanwhile, are asking the state EPA why months passed before residents found out about their lead-tainted tap water.

January 29, 2016 Canton Repository Malvern to hire new water-treatment supervisor
Village council will meet in special session Saturday to hire a new water-treatment supervisor following the resignation of James Bates, who is also in charge of the troubled water system in Sebring.

January 28, 2016 Vindy.com SEBRING UPDATE | US Rep. Tim Ryan calls for OEPA director's resignation for Sebring water problem 
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is calling for the resignation of the state Environmental Protection Agency director for knowing about the high lead levels in Sebring’s water.

January 28, 2016 vindy.com Ohio EPA establishes demands, deadlines for Sebring water
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has established a stringent set of compliance requirements and deadlines for the village water-supply system after village officials failed until last week to report to the general public high lead levels recorded at water taps last summer. Without being specific, the agency director also warned the village manager of potential escalating consequences for noncompliance. "Your prompt attention to this matter is essential for protection of public health” of Sebring drinking-water customers, Craig W. Butler, OEPA director, wrote to village Manager Richard Giroux last Thursday.

January 26, 2016, Columbus Dispatch, Ohio EPA knew of lead contamination in Sebring for months
State environmental officials knew as early as October that residents of Sebring in Mahoning County were drinking water contaminated with lead but did not warn the public, records show.


January 27, 2016, Canton Repository Health officials: High lead levels in 5 Sebring area kids: Health officials say it's too early to know if the elevated levels are tied to the tap water in Sebring near Youngstown.

January 26, 2016 Canton Repository Sebring, Malvern share same water supervisor
Concerns with the Sebring water quality is impacting this Carroll County village because the two communities share the same water-treatment supervisor.

January 26, 2016 Canton Repository AP: Sebring residents no longer trust their water
Plant manager denies Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allegations of falsifying reports, calling them an "outright lie."


January 26, 2016 Vindy.com Residents pack Sebring council meeting to air concerns over water safety, government accountability. 

January 26, 2016 vindy.com Here are some important dates involving issues at the Sebring public water system 

January 25, 2016 
WKSU Investigation of Sebring's Water Problems is Continuing 

January 25, 2016 Sebring schools closed again as the village tests water for lead Samples taken over the weekend show improvement from last week. More here.

January 25, 2016 vindy.com Sebring water users deserve answers on unhealthy delays
When it comes to ensuring quality public health, timing can be everything. Prompt notifications to the masses on disease outbreaks, heightened air pollution levels or threats to the purity of drinking water sometimes can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why we find it potentially reckless and disturbing that some state and local officials appear to have failed miserably in their moral obligation to promptly notify the 8,100 users of the Sebring municipal water system of elevated lead and copper levels detected in the community’s water from tests conducted last summer. 

January 25, 2016 vindy.com OEPA to pull Sebring water operator’s license
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday it is taking steps to revoke the Sebring water-treatment operator license of Jim Bates on the same day that five of 176 residents tested had lead levels in their blood above the allowed amount.

January 25, 2016 Vindy.com LEAD LEVELS | Lowering the risk
Dozens of residents took advantage of Sunday’s free blood-lead screenings at B.L. Elementary School in Sebring in light of recent findings pointing to high levels of lead and copper in drinking water from the Sebring village distribution system. Many people also took home educational materials, including steps on reducing children’s blood-lead levels. Seven key recommendations:
posted on January 26, 2016


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