Appealing the OEPA 401

Announcement from Friends of the Mahoning River

The Friends of the Mahoning River is a community organization with one of our goals being to protect the Mahoning River and its watershed. Therefore, FOMR are appealing the OEPA decision to issue a 401 Water
Quality Certification to fill in and destroy the wetland for the proposed Enterprise Park development in Howland Township. FOMR has concerns about flooding, degraded water quality, and negative impacts to wildlife. The flooding our region has experienced in just the past month should be cause for concern. Also, given the climate crisis the planet is experiencing, we feel the loss of carbon sequestering wetlands is unacceptable and avoidable.

To be clear, FOMR supports investment and job opportunities in our Mahoning Valley. The jobs promised with this development will not be new jobs, unfortunately. Jobs promised by the developer appear to be transfers mainly from the current Mercy Health facility at St Joe’s on Eastland Avenue. Construction jobs associated with this development would be available anywhere it might be built. FOMR supports investment and job
creation, but it’s clearly a false narrative in this instance.

FOMR advocates for environmental and social justice, as well as the continued recovery of our beloved Mahoning River and its tributaries. We feel there are countless alternatives for this development and support reinvestment with existing or abandoned properties. This would include building a new hospital facility on 55 acres behind the current St. Joe’s on Eastland and renovating/repurposing the current hospital for medical education, physician offices, clinics or other uses rather than building these facilities behind the mall and ultimately abandoning another hospital in Warren. This would also bring a boost of economic rejuvenation to that area of Warren. Mercy Health has been extremely quiet on what their plans are with this new facility or with the current St. Joe’s Hospital.

We strongly encourage the developer to find alternative locations. For example, the 50 plus acres next to the current Mercy Health St. Joe’s Hospital. Many additional sites are available for development but have not been fully investigated, such as the acreage available at Kent State University – Trumbull. FOMR believes the OEPA has made legal errors with the permit decision and we hope to have it reversed. FOMR hopes to save this valuable resource for future generations. We also believe that this permit undermines the Governor’s H2Ohio Initiative, and will ultimately waste taxpayer money.
Please join us in protecting human and environmental health!

Save the Mosquito Creek Wetland petition: mosquito-creek-wetlands-corridor-and-protect-your-water/

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