Should a non-bribing independent company test the water at the new Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center?

Submitted by Gone Fishin on Sun, 10/16/2011 - 18:49.
( categories: )

Burned by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center - Twice


link to water issue story here


* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

EPA Complaint

From: lily miller <llymiller [at] yahoo [dot] com>
To: "" <web [dot] requests [at] epa [dot] state [dot] oh [dot] us>
Subject: Kerosene odor and oily appearance of water in public building


My name is Lily Miller and I live in Cleveland, Ohio.  I am a public employee now working at the new Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court located at 9300 Quincy Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

Our building just opened on October 2, 2011 and on October 5, 2011 I recieved a chemical burn from using the water to rinse my hands.  The water smelled like kerosene and had an oily feel.

 My hands experienced a severe burning sensation and turned bright red for several days. 

I called Cleveland's Health Department and requested assistance with the water issue since it was my belief that my complaints regarding the water issue was not being properly addressed by those in charge of our building.

Two health inspectors immediately came to the building to meet with me.  Both agreed that the water smelled strongly of kerosene, had an oily appearance and a greenish tint.  They closed both restroom sinks- including the restroom in which I was burned. 

Despite Cleveland's Health Department taking a sample of the water, they never tested the water.   County officials called an irrigation crew in the same day as my burns and flushed the water in the building continuously prior to the water department coming into the building to perform tests on the water.

 After the continuous flushing, the water test allegedly came back as normal-free of chemicals.

The City's Health Inspector told me that the water should not have been flushed prior to any tests and that he has ongoing concerns regarding the water in the building and possible related health issues.  He was upset and told me the flushing orders came from the higher-ups in his office. 

A total of five people have reported similar burning sensations to their skin- including two that suffered burns AFTER the water was flushed and the health department determined the water to be safe. 

The kerosene odor disappeared for one day after the flushing, however the odor and oily feel is again present in our water.  Dozens of people have reported smelling the odor. 

This building was built on a contaminated landfill with buried electrical transformers and oil waste. 

This building is also at the center of one of the most massive public corruption probes in US history.  

It is my belief that the water is not safe and needs to be independently tested by an outside source.  Our officials have given the ok to drink, wash and use this water for cooking purposes.

Numerous juvenile offenders are housed at this public building with the expectation of tens of thousands of visitors coming through the doors. 

Please step in to take a close look at this situation.  It is my belief that there is a serious issue with our water and that the health hazard is being covered up.

 Thank you, 

Lily Miller



* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

EPA Response

I received a very timely response from the EPA.  Below is a portion of the email:

From: "Weiss, Kristopher" <>
To: "'llymiller

Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 11:07 AM
Subject: FW: Kerosene odor and oily appearance of water in public building


Dear Ms. Miller, 

My name is Kristopher Weiss and I am Ohio EPA’s citizen contact for Northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga County. I am sorry for what you are experiencing. I spoke with staff in our Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, and can tell you that you are doing exactly the right thing by working with the Cleveland Department of Public Health to address any issues with water inside the building. If others who work in and/or use the building have had similar health effects, please encourage them to report these to the health department, so they can accurately gauge what people are experiencing.   

 I also spoke with colleagues in the Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization and learned that the property went through Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) (more information on VAP is available here: and received a covenant not to sue (CNS) in 2006. Based on information provided to the Agency, the property housed a foundry, a marble company, a car company and a brewery and distribution facility from the early 1900s through the 1980s, when the buildings were razed; we have no indication that was a landfill on the property. Some areas were contaminated with PCBs, but there is no evidence of buried electrical transformers or oil waste on the site.

 During the clean-up operation, workers removed and disposed of contaminated soil, water, subsurface foundations and debris. Sampling was done to confirm the effectiveness of these activities and the remediated areas were backfilled and restored to 10 feet before the surface. The CNS was issued in 2006, when the property met applicable standards protective of juveniles housed in the center.


I hope this helps to allay some of your concerns and again encourage you and anyone else experiencing health effects to report these to the local health department and their contact information can be found here:

 Please feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of assistance.


Kristopher Weiss

Public Involvement Coordinator

Ohio EPA Public Interest Center

50 W. Town St., Suite 700

Columbus, OH 43216-1049

(614) 644-2160





* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

They knew of the carcinogens

They knew of the carcinogens on that sight as activists led by retired Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara Harper rallied against that sight for the new Juvenile Court. But no, the then Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, at the time led by Jimmy Dimora, would not listen. Now the children, judges and others working at or otherwise affiliated with that site are at risk. Kathy W. Coleman, with a degree in biology from Kentucky State University as a basis to say that they deserve what they get and we want that site cleaned up to protect our children there. It is a bigger issue than just testing the water that is burning people's skin. It is about systemic problems in the building's infrastructure and the land upon which the Juvenile Court sits,  and that' s why the water is burning people's skin. 


excellent comment

Thieving crooks willing to risk the health of thousands in their attempted cover-up.

If one can not trust the damn health department, whom can we trust to report suspected health complaints?

Cuyahoga County vows to clean site for juvenile justice center

The proposed Cuyahoga County juvenile justice center site at East 93rd Street and Quincy Avenue is laced with lead, arsenic and other chemicals.

But county commissioners say the contamination is not severe enough to stop the $55 million project. They will excavate as deep as 14 feet to reach all the polluted soil, then haul it away to an out-of-county landfill -- a cleanup project their environmental consultant estimates will cost taxpayers $3.5 million.

The county's consultant collected samples from a depth of 90 feet at 101 areas on the property.

Eight chemicals were found in unsafe amounts, according to the report. The main two chemicals were lead, probably from old paints, gasoline and batteries, and arsenic, commonly found at industrial sites because it was used to control rodents.

The other six chemicals at unsafe levels were associated with oils and burning of wood, coal and oils.

The proposed juvenile justice center will house 300 children ages 10 to 18.

It's to the betterment of the community if we roll up our sleeves and do what we can to make it environmentally suitable for the community," Dimora said. 


* My blogs expressing my Freedom of Speech Rights, especially on matters of public concern, are my opinion and not the opinion of my friends, family or employer*

The City of Cleveland and

The City of Cleveland and county officals agreed to put children on a dangeous site known for carcinogenic substances via the New Juvenile Court site because they lacked the scientific know how to properly question the endeavor and its long lasting effects, the deceny to elist recommendations from those that know, and the sensitvity on issues of public concern to even care about our children and their families.