Eau d’ Sewage

Let’s all talk about some shit.

Describing the fight for a cleaner community as “a constant battle,” environmental justice activist Mike Henson says the Metropolitan Sewer District’s treatment plant in Lower Price Hill is a constant source of problems.

“On a really ripe day it can really get unpleasant,” he says. “That’s like an 88-acre sewage treatment facility. It’s the largest one in the county, and it’s planted right plunk in the middle of a population zone. They’ve got some advanced technology and they’re constantly tinkering with it. But still you’ve got open-air sewage.”

In addition to being piped in, trucks bring in more waste from portable toilets that also needs to be processed.

“I grew up in the country; I grew up around manured fields,” Henson says. “I’ve worked on farms. I’ve dug outhouses, I’ve used outhouses. I know what shit smells like. When I smell the stuff that comes out of there, it doesn’t smell like shit. It smells like something different. I don’t know if it’s the quantity or the chemicals. I know people get headaches and nausea from it. They give these tours, and they’ll explain everything. Maybe I’m just not getting it.”

Low income and minority neighborhoods deal with this kind of pollution every day. Environmental justice is a daily problem for many in Cincinnati.

Tonight residents of Mill Creek Valley neighborhoods such as Winton Hills, Spring Grove Village, Northside and Carthage can address representatives of the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services (HCDOES) at 6 p.m. at Mother of Christ Church, 5301 Winneste Ave. The meeting, sponsored by Communities United for Action (CUFA), will bring residents together to express their concerns about the air quality in their neighborhoods, which are burdened with industrial pollution and environmental hazards.

CUFA leader Bill Lonneman, a resident of Spring Grove Village, is looking forward to the meeting.

“It’s a really good opportunity to talk with the HCDOES staff about the state of the problem: where we are and what we can do to get closer monitoring,” he says.

HCDOES officials Kerri Castlen, air quality permits and enforcement area supervisor; and Harry St. Clair, monitoring and analysis supervisor, will address the community’s questions and concerns.

— Margo Pierce

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3 Comments on “Eau d’ Sewage”

  1. citybeat Says:

    Margo, you always get the straight poop (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    – mike

  2. Margo Says:

    It’s a dirty job but sombody’s got to do it 😉

  3. citybeat Says:

    Margo Pierce, Senior Excrement Correspondent: http://www.citybeat.com/2007-01-24/news3.shtml

    You should get a raise!

    – mike


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