Ex-water operator charged over lead in Ohio village’s taps


SEBRING, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials have charged a former water plant operator with failing to alert residents after high levels of lead were detected last summer in homes near Youngstown.

The state attorney general’s office filed two misdemeanor charges Wednesday against former Sebring water plant superintendent James Bates.

The charges accuse Bates of failing to give a timely notice of the tap water results to homeowners and residents in the northeastern Ohio village.

Bates declined to comment when reached Wednesday.

Sebring came under scrutiny last January when schools closed and pregnant women and small children were warned not to drink tap water after high lead levels were found months earlier.

Bates was fired soon after. Two state Environmental Protection Agency employees also were fired after agency officials said the employees mishandled the situation.

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