Ohio Congressman calls for resignation of Ohio EPA director

Congressman Tim Ryan (WKBN Photo)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Congressman Tim Ryan is calling for the resignation of Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler.

Ryan made the comments in a Facebook post late Wednesday.

In the post Ryan said that “the people deserve better” and called for Butler to step down.

State officials knew for months that the water in Sebring contained high levels of lead, and did nothing to protect the men, women, and children who rely on them for their safety and well being. I call for the immediate resignation of the Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler. The people of Ohio deserve better.

Ryan was commenting on a Columbus Dispatch article that said the Ohio EPA knew of elevated lead levels in the Sebring water for months. Multiple warnings from the Ohio EPA were sent to the water treatment plant, demanding that Water Superintendent James Bates notify the public.

Sebring water customers — which include approximately 8,100 residents in Sebring, Beloit, Maple Ridge and parts of Smith Township — weren’t officially notified by the village until Thursday, January 21, however. It was then the village issued an advisory, urging pregnant women and children to avoid drinking the water and others to flush it before using it.

EPA Letters to Sebring

A letter, written from the Ohio EPA to City Manager Richard Giroux, states that tests from the June through September 2015 monitoring period showed that the village’s water exceeded the lead action level. That letter was dated December 3, 2015.

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