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Ohio files motion against bioenergy company for air, water pollution violations

The filing alleges that Delaware, Ohio-based Renergy Inc. was improperly storing nearly 1.5 million gallons of untreated organic waste.

September 8, 2022

The state of Ohio has filed a motion for contempt against Renergy Inc., a Delaware, Ohio-based bioenergy company, citing violations at the company’s biodigester facility in Morrow County.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s (AG’s) Office, the filing alleges that Emerald Bioenergy was improperly storing nearly 1.5 million gallons of untreated organic waste in 83 mobile containers, or “frac tanks”—an act that was in violation of a preliminary injunction the company agreed to in June.

The filing follows a “spate of lawsuits filed by the AG against Renergy earlier this year,” the Dayton Daily News reports. In a previous lawsuit in June, Attorney General Dave Yost alleged that three Renergy operations, including the Dovetail biodigester in Bath Township in Greene County, had committed air and water pollution violations.

The Dayton Daily News reports the violations were resolved with two consent orders which required the Emerald facility to treat and remove certain waste; however, the AG’s office says the number of frac tanks has “grown rapidly.”

The recent filing by Yost has requested the court to order Renergy to comply with the consent order, as well as empty and remove frac tanks at the Emerald facility no later than Dec. 31. The filing also orders for the company to stop accepting untreated organic waste at the site until the tanks are removed.

The Emerald facility is a sister facility of the biodigester operation in Bath Township, according to the Dayton Daily News. Both biodigesters are operated by Renergy and use anaerobic digestion to break down manure, food waste and other organic material to be used as fertilizer or for renewable natural gas production.

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