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Greene County biodigester asks for more time to clean up

A gravel road leading to the Dovetail biowaste facility in Fairborn.
Chris Welter
The Dovetail biowaste facility on Herr Road.

Renergy, the company that owns a controversial biodigester facility in Greene County, recently received an extension to complete its bio waste cleanup.

The facility’s shutdown was ordered last September, after Renergy received a number of lawsuits accusing it of violating state permits and not following environmental regulations.

A biodigester is a series of machines that break down organic waste to produce methane gas that can be converted into electricity. Another byproduct from that process is a thick sludge that's stored in open-air biosolid lagoon tanks until it can be used by farmers as fertilizer.

Neighbors also have complained about the site for years, claiming the odor from the site was unbearable.

Now Renergy has been granted an extension from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for its cleanup of the Greene County site due to weather conditions.

“Because of the recent cold temperatures, followed by rain, additional material remains in the concrete storage tank,” an Ohio EPA spokesperson says in an email to WYSO.

Renergy requested the extension on Jan. 30, according to the state agency. It will now have until Feb. 15 to get documentation of its site cleanup to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Previously, documentation for the cleanup was due to the office on Jan. 31.

Renergy didn't respond to requests for comment by deadline.

Adriana Martinez-Smiley (she/they) is the Environment and Indigenous Affairs Reporter for WYSO. They grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in June 2023. Before joining WYSO, her work has been featured in NHPR, WBEZ and WTTW.

Email: amartinez-smiley@wyso.org
Cell phone: 937-342-2905
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