Sebring: Ohio EPA taking steps to revoke operator license

Sebring: Ohio EPA taking steps to revoke operator license

SEBRING, OH (WOIO) - Schools in the Village of Sebring will be closed again on Tuesday.  That after lead was found in the water in a water fountain at the high school.

Water testing continues in Sebring to ensure the water treatment plant is healthy and has no detectable lead. Elevated levels of lead and copper were found in water samples last week. Schools were closed Friday and again Monday for additional testing.

A criminal investigation has been opened and assistance is being requested from the U.S. EPA's Criminal Investigation Division.

The agency has reason to suspect the operator, Jim Bates, falsified reports.

Mayor Michael Pinkerton says city council found out about the problem four days ago.  But the city manager has known the EPA has been investigating since last summer.

The state EPA director is taking steps to revoke Bates' water treatment operator license "as he is not properly performing his duties in a manner that is protective of public health."

40 samples were tested, and 7 came back positive.

So far the water plant or the distribution plant have no lead coming out of the water.  That's the good news.

But bottles of water being shipped to the high school, a packed city council and residents wanting to know why they weren't told is bad for City Council.

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