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Commissioner Frustrated By Environmental Agency




Trees near the Fulton County airport are proving difficult to cut down.

It’s not because they’re a particularly hard wood. No, what’s keeping the trees standing is mere paper.

Paper, as in paperwork; in this case, paperwork generated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Last fall, Joe Short, Fulton County commissioner, heard about the problem that trees create for airplanes landing at the airport. Wind blowing through the trees creates turbulence, making landing difficult. The situation was implicated in a 2003 fatal airplane crash at the airport.

Short thought he could resolve the problem in 30 days with a few phone calls.

This newspaper said at the time, we’ll believe it when we see it.

April is near, and the trees remain standing. Short admits now, the trees probably won’t come down until September of this year.

We hate to say we told you so…

Short has been working with the OEPA for weeks. At one point, OEPA had six concerns. Fulton County answered all six. Six weeks later, OEPA sent a letter, bringing up the same six concerns!

Short wants the airport to expand and develop, to become a business tool for Fulton County. The trees, a safety issue, makes development difficult.

Were it not for the danger the trees impose, the situation would be comical. It’s time for OEPA to quit dragging its feet, and let Fulton County get on with the job.

Before Short needs blood pressure medication.


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