BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath Township residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against Dovetail Energy LLC, Pitstick Renewable Energy, Pitstick Pork Farms Inc., and Township Trustee Tom Pitstick.
The lawsuit, filed on Dec. 10 in Greene County Common Pleas Court, alleges that the smell coming from the biodigester facility at Dovetail Energy has deprived residents of the full use of their property and quality of life. Luke Borntrager is listed as the primary plaintiff, representing himself and “all others similarly situated.”
Allegations against Pitstick primarily include the odor coming from the biodigester facility, citing failure to “collect, capture, and destroy gas from the Facility in a manner that does not allow noxious odors.” Additionally, the lawsuit alleges gross negligence on the part of Pitstick, Dovetail, and the other related parties to prevent these odors, despite complaints from residents and government entities.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for damages, including attorney fees and costs. They also seek an order “holding the entrance of” the noxious odors onto their property created a nuisance, and further relief as the Court deems proper.
The lawsuit cites numerous violation notices from the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection, as well as numerous complaints from residents of Bath Township and Fairborn. The lawsuit cites more than 80 households who have “contacted Plaintiff’s counsel documenting the odors they attribute to Defendant’s facility.
Additionally, the lawsuit cites a cease and desist order issued from the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office in September 2019.
“The noxious odors invading Plaintiff’s property are indecent and/or offensive to the senses, and obstruct the free use of their property,” the document reads.
The lawsuit was submitted by lawyers Daniel Petrov of Thorman Petrov Group, and Laura Sheets of Liddle and Dubin PC.
Pitstick came under fire in recent years for use of the biodigester on the 14.7 acres of his property. The biodigester uses an anaerobic process to break down food waste and animal waste into fertilizer and methane gas. The methane gas is burned to supply electricity to approximately 800 homes, and the fertilizer is spread over approximately 2,200 acres of surrounding farmland. In 2019, the Dovetail biodigester facility was found in violation of the Ohio Revised Code and Bath Township Zoning Resolution. Dovetail and Pitstick have since appealed that ruling.
Borntrager’s legal counsel could not be reached by press time Friday. Pitstick declined to comment.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter