Yankee Lake Inc., the company that owns the Yankee Lake Party Store, Yankee Lake Inn and Yankee Lake Ballroom; Yankee Lake Truck Night Inc.; and John Jurko, president of both entities, have agreed to pay $10,000 as a civil penalty to settle a long-standing state enforcement action over sanitary and storm water flow in the village.
Jurko, who also is the village mayor, signed the agreement Feb. 10, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency followed suit on March 5, although Jurko has maintained there is nothing wrong with the septic system.
The agreement notes that the septic system serving the three businesses likely was installed in the ’20s, and allows partially treated or raw sewage to enter Yankee Run.
promoEPA began enforcement action on the sanitary sewer side in 2011, when it sent a notice that sewage was entering public waters. A year later, EPA ordered the entities to provide a plan to improve the sewage system. It wasn’t until 2017 that the entities submitted plans, but did not follow through with them, EPA said.
The agreement also covers accusations that date back to 2009 that little or no effort was made to keep sediment and other materials from getting into waterways during Yankee Lake Truck Nights. A permit for land disturbance and water discharge was never sought, nor was state approval when a wheel wash was built in 2013, EPA said.
Last year, the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office submitted plans to EPA to extend sanitary sewer service to the three businesses, much of the village’s residences, and part of Masury along Yankee Run Road.
County officials are working on the funding package to get the system built, and were much helped by state Sen. Sean O’Brien securing $1.5 million in the state budget toward the estimated $2.4 million project.
Until the new system is built, Yankee Lake Inc. can continue to use the existing septic tanks as holding tanks, provided they are water tight and can hold 10 days’ worth of capacity, but must ship all waste water off site for disposal to an approved site. If the existing tanks are not deemed sufficient, a new holding tank will have to be installed.
Yankee Lake Inc. also must seek a discharge permit for the wheel wash system, storm sewer detention ponds and anything else that releases water into the environment.
By April 15, 2021, Yankee Lake Inc. must submit a plan to tie all three buildings into the sanitary sewer system, and decommission the holding tanks.