WARREN - The Ohio Attorney General's Office is arguing that a judge should throw out a lawsuit filed last month by a Warren water treatment company against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The Attorney General's Office, which represents state agencies like ODNR, this week filed a motion to dismiss in the Ohio Court of Claims, saying the court has no jurisdiction to review the case that had been resolved in Patriot Water's favor by the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, or ERAC.
Patriot Water Treatment is seeking more than $3.5 million from ODNR, alleging the state hid and destroyed public records that would have helped it to resolve its case more quickly.
Patriot had been forced to cease operations for about three months earlier this year while it battled ODNR for permission to restart operations. Ultimately, Patriot won a challenge of ODNR's ruling through ERAC but lost millions of dollars in business during the process.
Patriot Water treats brine waste water generated in the oil and natural gas drilling industry, then disposes of it through the Warren Pollution Control Department. Permits allowing the disposal were initially granted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, but the agency later issued new permits to Warren's Water Pollution Control Department that included a ban on accepting brine water treated at Patriot.
In the motion filed Wednesday in the Columbus court, the Attorney General's Office argues that Patriot's lawsuit is, "in essence, nothing more than a litany of the disputes that Patriot and (the OEPA) have already resolved" before ERAC. The attorney argues the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction in the matter and cannot hear appeals.
Patriot has not yet responded to the motion and there is no ruling yet.