Shelly Asphalt, Westerville

July 28: Residents near Kokosing construction plant in Maple Heights upset over noise, odors

Carl Gaglione is a leader in a neighborhood effort against Kokosing. (Ken Baka/Sun News)
MAPLE HEIGHTS -- "Some residents near the asphalt plant operated by Kokosing Construction Co. are complaining about odors and noises. The effort to rectify the situation is being led by city employee Carl Gaglione. He wants the plant to move, or homeowners to be bought out. 'This year is worse than last year and last year was the worst ever,' Gaglione said of the plant, owned until 2007 by Schloss Paving Co. During a City Council meeting July 15, Gaglione and others complained about noise, vibrations and bad air... Before council last week, a Forest Avenue woman complained about odors 'that burn.' A second woman said dirt was so thick she could write letters with her finger on her TV screen. A third woman, Joanne Bedrick, of Beech Avenue, said dust made it hard for her to breathe. 'It's insane that we are actually living in a construction area,' Bedrick said," Ken Baka, Garfield Maple Sun.
Nov 5: Pollution lawsuits deadline-driven

COLUMBUS -- "In July, Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann boasted that he had taken more polluters to court during his first six months in office than his two predecessors. Dann filed 57 lawsuits compared with Jim Petro's 14 and Betty D. Montgomery's seven. But Dann had little choice. His office had sat on 51 cases... The lawsuits Dann filed in July cover a variety of environmental problems, including hazardous wastes and leaking underground fuel tanks. One suit is against Thornville-based Shelly Co., which is accused of violating air-quality laws at 27 asphalt plants, including 10 in central Ohio," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Published November 3.
Sep 5: Something sure stinks, residents say

COLUMBUS -- "In the Westerville area, neighbors of an asphalt plant complain of a smell that resembles a newly paved street. On the South Side, residents say a steel mill produces an odor similar to an overheated brake pad. In Gahanna, people say a steel-drum recycler's fumes reek of paint thinner... Residents and employees of nearby businesses don't like the smells at Columbus Steel Drum, which cleans and recycles barrels that contained industrial waste and chemicals. 'We've gone to great effort to eliminate any of those alleged odors,' said Ron Grannan, the plant's operations manager," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Published September 3, 2007.
Aug 6: The Shelly Company defends its practices to Ohio EPA
President says asphalt manufacturer has taken steps to be more environmentally friendly

Shelly Company President John Powers talks to a worker Friday.
ST. LOUISVILLE -- "The recently appointed president and chief executive officer of an asphalt manufacturer said his Thornville-based company will continue to work as an environmental steward -- despite a state lawsuit arguing the contrary. The lawsuit -- filed on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency -- accuses The Shelly Co. of violating air-pollution limits and burning oil that contained harmful compounds like lead and mercury at 27 asphalt plants, including 10 in central Ohio. 'We have an honest disagreement about the facts,'" said John Powers, who was appointed president of the company in February," Mark Szakonyi, Newark Advocate.
Jul 31, 2007: State sues asphalt company
Shelly's central Ohio plants violated pollution rules, attorney general says

map COLUMBUS -- "An Ohio asphalt company that drew federal scrutiny over neighborhood complaints of foul odors and pollution is being sued by the state. The suit, filed last week by the state attorney general's office, says that the Shelly Co. of Thornville violated air-pollution limits and burned oil that contained mercury, lead and other compounds. In all, the complaints cover 27 Shelly asphalt plants, including 10 that were in central Ohio. The suit was filed on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which has investigated pollution issues at the sites for years. 'We're glad the EPA finally caught up with us,' said Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Environmental Network, an advocacy group that first pushed for a government probe in 2004,'" Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch.
Jan 1, 2007: EPA may shift pollution policy
State would prosecute only harmful odors

COLUMBUS -- "Odor issues are often a key element in complaints that spur official investigations, said Teresa Mills, with the Buckeye Environmental Network... In 2004, Westerville-area residents complained about odors they said came from two asphalt plants near the intersection of State Street and I-270. The state didn’t fine or sanction the two companies that owned the plants. But activists think the complaints convinced the Shelly Co. of Thornville to move its plant to the South Side. Mills said bad odor is pollution. 'If something affects the quality of your life, that affects your health,' Mills said," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch.
Apr 19:  CDC joins another federal agency investigating asphalt maker

COLUMBUS -- "Officials from a second federal agency are investigating complaints of pollution from Ohio's largest asphalt maker. Neighbors of a Shelly Materials Inc. plant near Gallipolis in southeast Ohio complained to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a foul-smelling gas leaking from the plant's storage tanks. 'I want the air cleaned up,' said Wendy Bostic, who lives across the street from the plant and says the gas causes her children to have nosebleeds. 'It stinks.' Shelly officials two weeks ago sent test data for hydrogen-sulfide emissions to the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The gas can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and might cause breathing problems for asthmatics. Exposure at high levels has been linked to memory and attention problems and can cause headaches," Akron Beacon Journal.
Mar 24:  Ohio EPA OKs asphalt plant move

WESTERVILLE -- "In the past year, members of Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action have expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust from the Westerville Road plant. . . 'I will be happy when I know this plant has relocated and is not causing any other problems anywhere else,' [Simona Vaclavikova, of Ohio Citizen Action] said. As for the Ohio EPA's most recent decision to let the plant move, Vaclavikova said she hopes the company will 'try to prevent another Westerville down there. I think they have a chance to prevent all that,' she said," Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.

Mar 23:  Ohio EPA OKs moving asphalt plant

Westerville facility shouldn’t expect a warm welcome on South Side, residents say

Columbus maps

COLUMBUS -- "Teresa Mills, director of the Buckeye Environmental Network, an advocacy group, said she and others on the South Side already consider the plant a nuisance. 'If the plant can't operate properly in Westerville, what makes the EPA think it will operate properly on the South Side of Columbus?' she asked. . . . Shelly plans to relocate one of two plants on the east side of I-71 on Frank Road to a location outside of central Ohio, [Michael Hopkins, the EPA’s assistant chief of permitting] said. By replacing one plant with another, it won't create additional pollution in the area, he said," Madelin Esquivel, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Feb 10:  Shelly Co.
Ohio EPA reviewing OK of plant relocation

WESTERVILLE -- "The agency also is continuing an investigation of 26 verified complaints submitted a few months ago regarding the Westerville Road plant. In the past year, members of Ohio Citizen Action and Citizens for Clean Air have expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust from the plant. . . .If the Shelly Materials plant on Westerville Road is moved, [Shelly Co. president Dan] Montgomery said it would replace one of the two Shelly plants currently on the South Side. Plant 90 is at 395 Frank Road, Columbus, and Plant 95 is at 3500 Jackson Pike, Grove City. He said the equipment at the Westerville Road plant, No. 91, is newer and has better technology than Plant 95, which would be taken out of commission," Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.
Jan 28:  Welcome signs aren't out for asphalt plants

Bob Wilson
Neighbor Bob Wilson at a 2003 hearing on an ill-fated tire melting project
COLUMBUS -- "The Columbus site is near two asphalt plants operated by Shelly Co., of Thornville. Hounded by complaints about foul odors and air pollution, Shelly wants to move its plant that is just south of I-270, near Westerville, to an industrial area at 711 Frank Rd. . . .If the state decides that the plant cannot be moved easily, Shelly in essence would be building a new plant and would have to apply for a new permit. Neighbors would be able to ask questions, which is what they want, [Bob Wilson, a member of Southwest Neighbors Protecting Our Environment] said. 'We want a public hearing on this.' . . . Citizens for Clean Air never intended to force Shelly to move the plant, said Westerville resident Bobbi Jo Hoak, a spokeswoman for the group. 'They need to comply with the EPA's guidelines wherever they are,'" Spencer Hunt, Kristy Eckert, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Jan 18:  Air quality in Westerville improved

Liam Mahony
CEO Liam Mahony of CRH, the Irish company that owns Shelly Materials.
WESTERVILLE -- "Citizens for Clean Air, organized in April 2004, and led by Bobbi Jo Hoak, included area residents from Columbus, Blendon Township and Westerville. The group formed a coalition with Ohio Citizen Action to eliminate air pollution caused by area asphalt plants. Problems of major concern were both pollution and odors emanating from the asphalt plants located at Route 3 and Dempsey Road. Members documented odors and followed up with phone calls of concern to the Ohio EPA. Numerous pictures were taken to document equipment malfunctions resulting in noxious odors and air pollution. Notarized 'Verified Complaints' were sent to the Ohio EPA to request an investigation. In less than a year, community pressure played a role in Shelly Materials asphalt plant's decision to move their equipment out of Westerville to another site. Citizens for Clean Air will continue their efforts to improve the air quality by entering into a dialogue with Kokosing Asphalt Company, also located on Route 3, to resolve their air and odor pollution problems," Citizens for Clean Air.
Jan 14:  Westerville neighbors are celebrating their first amazing victory.

VictoryOdor-free clean air has a chance in Westerville once again.

WESTERVILLE -- "How do you persuade two large asphalt companies to take an interest in what their neighbors have to say? How do you convince them to make changes? It all started in April 2004 when a group of Westerville, Blendon Township, and Columbus neighbors met with the representatives of Ohio Citizen Action, the state's largest environmental organization. The problem was evident: two asphalt plants, Shelly and Kokosing, producing asphalt at a combined rate of about 800 tons per hour, caused offensive odors, air and water pollution, dust, and noise. It was a no-brainer that two asphalt plants, notorious for their non-compliance with air and water regulations, were putting an unfair burden on the surrounding community. . . . ," Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus Area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action.
Jan 13, 2005:  Shelly Materials gets OK to move

Shelly AsphaltWESTERVILLE -- "An area asphalt plant that has been criticized for emitting odors and other nuisances in recent months is leaving the Westerville area. The Shelly Materials asphalt plant at 6055 Westerville Road, outside of Westerville city limits, is relocating to a leased property off of Frank Road, according to information provided to ThisWeek by the Ohio EPA. "Shelly Materials proposes that Plant No. 91 will be relocated after 1 January 2005," Beth Mowrey of The Shelly Co. wrote in a Nov. 17, 2004, letter to Todd Scarborough of the Ohio EPA. . . The formal complaints were made to the EPA in October by members of Ohio Citizen Action and Citizens for Clean Air; the two groups have expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust from the plant," Liz Pecek, This Week Westerville.
Jan 11, 2005:  A collection of letters and drawings by young neighbors of Shelly Asphalt

Dec 8, 2004:  Photos of nighttime emissions at Shelly Westerville Asphalt Plant #91

9:30 PM, Wednesday, December 8

Storage silo emissions

Photos by Bob Hoak, Citizens for Clean Air, Westerville.
Dec 3:  Ohio EPA looking into 26 formal complaints

WESTERVILLE -- "The Ohio EPA is looking into 26 formal, or verified, complaints it received about the Shelly Materials asphalt plant at 6055 Westerville Road. 'I further allege that the unlawful discharges by Shelly Materials No. 91 are affecting my health and well-being by causing acute, short-term physical reactions (and possible long-term reactions) when I am exposed to the emissions,' the letters state. Westerville resident Fran Harris, a member of Citizens for Clean Air, was among those who submitted the verified complaints. She said all are from members of Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action. The two groups have expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust from the plant. The groups have met with Shelly officials, who confirmed they are making improvements to the plant in the spring. Simona Vaclavikova of Ohio Citizen Action said the complaints serve as a way to communicate that 'there's still a problem and we still consider this plant a nuisance,'" Liz Pecek, Columbus This Week.
Oct 7:  Pollution violations
Shelly to submit plan to Ohio EPA

WESTERVILLE -- "Shelly Materials is working to comply with a settlement agreement announced last month by the Ohio EPA. The settlement was for storm water violations at the company's asphalt plant on Westerville Road and its industrial gravel operation in Newark. Katherine Beach, an environmental engineer for the company, said on Monday that as part of the agreement, a general plan would be submitted to the Ohio EPA at the end of this week. She said the plan will address ways to deal with potential discharges of industrial wastewater generated at the Westerville Road plant. "We want to do the right thing," Beach said," Liz Pecek, ThisWeek Westerville.
Sep 30:  Pollution violations
Ohio EPA, Shelly Materials reach agreement

WESTERVILLE -- "The Ohio EPA documented violations at the Westerville Road asphalt plant, which is outside of Westerville city limits, in September 2002 and June 2004. Like the Newark facility, which is an industrial gravel operation, the Westerville plant's unauthorized discharges came from washing operations. As part of the agreement with the Ohio EPA, the company has "agreed to immediately take any measures necessary to stop the unauthorized discharges at both sites," the Ohio EPA release stated," ThisWeek Westerville.
Sep 23:  Water problems solved; air inquiry pending
Asphalt-maker fined for pollution in Newark, Westerville

PenniesCOLUMBUS -- "A company that operates a Westerville-area asphalt plant and a Newark gravel pit has agreed to stop polluting nearby streams and pay a $15,905 fine. Shelly Materials, one of the state's largest asphalt makers, settled with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which announced the agreement yesterday. Shelly, which produces asphalt at 50 plants in Ohio, also faces a federal pollution investigation. In August, the U.S. EPA sent Shelly a letter demanding test data and other records from every facility it operates with an air-pollution permit. Jim Leach, a spokesman for the Ohio EPA, said there was no link between the settlement and the federal inquiry. 'As far as I know, they’re asking about air' issues, Leach said. 'This is about water,'" Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Sep 10:  Photo gallery:
Concerned Citizens of Kanauga protest Shelly Asphalt

COLUMBUS -- "The Concerned Citizens of Kanauga posted signs along State Route 7 North in Gallia County protesting odors from the Shelly #2 Asphalt plant and terminal. All photos were taken by Wendy Bostic on Sept 6, 2004," Ohio Citizen Action.
Aug 31:  Neighbors want Ohio EPA investigation of asphalt plant odors

WESTERVILLE -- "We are providing you and Todd Scarborough [Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control] with these photos and videos taken at the Kokosing Asphalt Plant in Westerville. We will send the videos in a separate E-mail because of file size limitations. We request that your agency investigate these photos/videos and keep us informed as to the result of your findings. These photos/videos were taken August 29, 2004 at approximately 10:30 AM. We took these photos/videos because there was a 'pounding odor' in our neighborhood," Bobbi Jo Hoak, Citizens for Clean Air, email to Christopher Jones, Director, Ohio EPA, Aug 30, 2004.

If you have a high-speed (broadband) internet connection, you can view these QuickTime video clips.
Clip 1 (4.5 MB)   Clip 2 (4.4 MB)
Aug 26:  Shelly Co. withdraws request for new emissions permit
U.S. EPA seeks data to determine compliance with Clean Air Act

AKRON -- "Two citizens groups, Ohio Citizen Action and Citizens for Clean Air, have in recent months expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust from the plant. They have talked with company officials, and a few representatives met with the president a few weeks ago. Simona Vaclavikova, program director for Ohio Citizen Action, said the groups are pleased that the company withdrew its request for the new permit," Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.
Aug 22: Federal probe of plants expands
Shelly Materials told to provide information about Ohio operations

COLUMBUS -- "What started as a federal pollution probe of five asphalt plants owned by Shelly Materials Inc. has grown to include all of the company's Ohio operations. An Aug. 6 letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency orders the Thornville company to hand over smokestack test results and information regarding the ingredients and fuel used to make asphalt at its 50 Ohio plants. . . ."I think this is just the beginning of the questions the U.S. EPA is asking to comply with citizens' concerns," said Teresa Mills, director of the Buckeye Environmental Network. Mills' group and another, Ohio Citizen Action, became concerned about asphalt plants after homeowners living near them complained of foul odors and breathing problems. . . Wendy Bostic, a homeowner who lives across the street from Shelly's Gallipolis storage terminal, said her 4-year-old son Cheyenne has suffered nosebleeds when he played outside on four occasions. She said she and her neighbors have complained to government officials about strong rotten-egg odors coming from the terminal and its large storage tanks for more than a year," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Shelly WestervilleAug 19: Fugitive emissions keep pouring out of Shelly Asphalt in Westerville

WESTERVILLE -- "On August 17, Shelly Asphalt issued a press release in which Vice President Larry Shively declared: 'We take a great deal of pride in being a good neighbor in every community in which we operate.' At 6:30 PM that same night, Citizens for Clean Air member Bobbi Jo Hoak recorded massive fugitive emissions coming from the top of the storage silos at Shelly Asphalt's Westerville plant," Simona Vaclavikova, Ohio Citizen Action, (614) 263-4111.

If you have a high-speed (broadband) internet connection, you can view this 4.4 MB mov.

WESTERVILLE -- Ohio EPA expects meetings on new Shelly plant permit to be canceled, Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.
Aug 18: Shelly Westerville plant passes voluntary emissions test, plant complies with existing Ohio EPA permit

THORNEVILLE -- "[Shelly vice president Larry] Shively said that the company has, in the wake of the outcome of the tests, withdrawn its application for a new permit that would have raised permissible emission levels above those set in 2001. 'In our view, there is no reason to seek a new permit since we are confident that the Westerville plant will remain in compliance with the existing standards,' he said," release, Shelly Company, 22 KB doc.

The Shelly Company, headquartered in Thornville, is owned by Oldcastle Materials, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., which is owned by CRH, plc (public limited company), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
Aug 5:  Shelly Materials test:
Plant complying with permit

While the Ohio EPA sleeps, Westerville neighbors have sent a video clip of this major violation at Shelly to the U.S. EPA.
Shelly Westerville
WESTERVILLE -- "A spokesman for the Ohio EPA said Monday that results of a June 30 stack test indicate that the Shelly Materials asphalt plant on Westerville Road is in compliance with its current permit. . . .Two citizens groups, Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action, have expressed concerns about odors, noises and dust coming from the plant in recent months. They have been planning strategies for the meetings and are working to get information about them to residents who live near the Shelly Materials asphalt plant, according to Simona Vaclavikova, of Ohio Citizen Action, a statewide organization that is working with about 30 Westerville, Blendon Township and Columbus residents who make up Citizens for Clean Air. Vaclavikova said the groups have previously noted that the Shelly Materials plant did not seem to be operating very much in May and June. 'I think we know the difference between clover and flowers as opposed to an asphalt plant,' [said Bobbi Jo Hoak, a Westerville resident and spokeswoman for Citizens for Clean Air]," Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.

The stacks above are labelled "Shelly Materials" and "Corna Kokosing," asphalt companies sitting side-by-side in Westerville. Cartoon by Clayton Strohmeyer, Westerville News and Opinion, August 4, 2004.

Jul 28:  'Open dialogue' meetings to be held on asphalt plant permit

WESTERVILLE -- "[Ohio Citizen Action] has been canvassing neighborhoods with fliers trying to raise awareness of what, its members believe, is pollution coming from three Central Ohio asphalt plants. The plant that's garnered most of their attention is the Westerville-area Shelly plant. Citizens uses a 'good neighbor' campaign to apply pressure to plants. Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus area program director for the statewide group, said more than 5,000 letters have been sent to Shelly's president, Larry Shively," John Sheridan, Columbus Suburban News.
Jul 8: The Shelly Co. awaiting results of odor study and stack test, cancels attendance at June 30 meeting
Citizens still have concerns about asphalt plant

COLUMBUS -- "Dan Montgomery, president of The Shelly Co., told ThisWeek on July 2 that the company is not ignoring the issues being raised. 'We just weren't ready,' Montgomery said of the cancellation. He said the company still had not received a report from an odor study that was done by an outside consultant. He added that the company was also waiting on results from a stack test done at the plant on June 29. 'We will take this information to the citizens,' he said. 'We're working hard to try to bring this thing to a resolution,'" Liz Pecek, Westerville ThisWeek.
Jul 5: U.S. EPA widens inquiry into asphalt plants

A "fugitive emission" is pollution released to the air from leaks, evaporation, or wind -- not from stacks or vents. Above, Shelly Asphalt's neighbor in Westerville, Kokosing Asphalt, gives a demonstration of fugitive emissions this May. Photo by Bob Hoak, Westerville Citizens for Clean Air.
Kokosing Asphalt
COLUMBUS -- "A federal investigation of Ohio asphalt companies has grown to include plants in four other Midwestern states. . . Teresa Mills' group [Buckeye Environmental Network] and another, Ohio Citizen Action, focused on asphalt plants after homeowners living near them complained of foul odors and breathing problems. Asphalt plants combine crude oil with gravel and other ingredients to make the blacktop used to build and rebuild roads and other surfaces. . . .Mills and Simona Vaclavikova, a program director for Ohio Citizen Action, say the government-ordered tests might not cover all the hazardous substances asphalt plants emit into the air. Both said neighbors began to complain about asphalt plants in Ohio around 2000. Mills suspects complaints might be linked to the used oil some plants burn as fuel or new modifiers put in the asphalt. . . Vaclavikova said no one has taken a hard look at these plants. 'Just because they’ve never tested for these things, that doesn’t mean they’re not there,' she said. 'We have very valid concerns about this. They have to prove this to us,'" Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.

COLUMBUS -- Report: Pollution probe of asphalt industry widens to Indiana, Associated Press.
Jul 2: Westerville Citizens for Clean Air meet

WESTERVILLE -- On June 30, Westerville Citizens for Clean Air met to plan the next steps of their campaign to persuade Shelly Asphalt to relieve the odors, air pollution, heavy dust, noise, and increased traffic in the area. The group's next meeting will be July 29, 7:00 PM, 139 E. Broadway Avenue, Westerville," Simona Vaclavikova, Ohio Citizen Action.

Westerville meeting

Counterclockwise, Citizens for Clean Air members Jackie Shumaker and Jill Berner, Westerville ThisWeek reporter Liz Pecek, Simona Vaclavikova of Ohio Citizen Action, Sally Clark, Bobbi Jo Hoak, and Bob Hoak.

Westerville meeting

Paul Wenning, Franklin County Board of Health, in the crimson shirt, answers questions from Citizens for Clean Air members

Westerville meting

Neighbors David Weaver, Frank Andersen, and Mary Anderson.

Jun 29: Shelly Asphalt suddenly balks at meeting with neighbors

Ostrich"June 28, 2004
To Whom It May Concern:
I regret to inform you that representatives of Shelly Materials will not be able to attend your meeting on June 30, 2004 in Westerville. Shelly Materials has completed all the modifications to the facility as promised and is continuing to work with Ohio EPA to investigate the odor complaints.
Very Truly Yours,
Larry E. Shively, Vice President
Shelly Materials"
  • So the neighbors have to deal with Shelly's odors and air pollution but Shelly thinks they don't have to deal with the neighbors?
Jun 9: Ohio EPA has 'significant enforcement issues' with local plants

WESTERVILLE -- "[Craig Butler and Mike Riggleman of the Ohio EPA] said they have been acting on resident concerns about the Westerville Road plants -- located in Columbus just south of Interstate 270 -- but until this year have not received a significant number of complaints. They said about 12 complaints were registered in the past six months and before that, only a handful in the past year. 'Then you are not getting the messages,' said Bobbie Jo Hoak, whose group Citizens for Clean Air is leading a fight to cut pollution from the plants. Hoak and others at the meeting, held last Wednesday at the Westerville Electric Division offices, said they have complained dozens, if not hundreds, of times since smells from the plants worsened in 2001. Residents also said they were dismayed that Ohio EPA officials have said they are unable to get Shelly to submit a 'material data sheet,' which outlines what the company uses to make its asphalt product," John Sheridan, Suburban News.
Jun 3: Neighbors angry about odor from asphalt plant
State EPA plans to hold July hearing, urges folks to keep records of smells

WESTERVILLE -- "Fuming neighbors of a Westerville-area asphalt plant last night questioned representatives of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency about what it's doing concerning the plant's odors. Shelly Materials Inc. runs an asphalt plant at 6055 Westerville Rd., near the I-270 interchange. Though the plant doesn't run year-round, neighbors say that when it does, they are periodically overwhelmed by heavy fumes akin to diesel oil. Bobbi Jo Hoak, who suffers from asthma, said the problems with odors became more noticeable about three years ago. She helped start Citizens for Clean Air, which last night held a meeting attended by 20 people at the offices of the Westerville Electric Division," Jim Woods, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Larry Shively, Vice President, Shelly Asphalt
Larry Shively
May 27: Asphalt plant
Improvements made, groups say it's not enough

WESTERVILLE -- "Despite the changes, odors are still present in the neighborhoods, according to Bobbi Jo Hoak, spokeswoman for Citizens for Clean Air. She was one of the representatives from Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action who toured the asphalt plant in April. 'We haven't noticed a difference with these improvements,' Hoak told Westerville City Council last week. She asked city council for its support and invited members to attend the next Citizens for Clean Air meeting at 7 p.m. June 2 in the Westerville Electric Division building, 139 E. Broadway Ave. 'Even though Shelly did make some initial steps ... it's definitely not enough,' said Simona Vaclavikova, program director for Ohio Citizen Action. 'We are just at the beginning of this process where the community and this asphalt plant learn how to co-exist,'" Liz Pecek, ThisWeek.
May 26: Westerville neighbors want answers from Shelly Asphalt

Ohio map of Shelly plants

WESTERVILLE -- "Per our discussion at the April 8th meeting, we still have not received Material Safety Data Sheets, nor did we receive information regarding any process changes at the plant since 2001. This information was originally going to be provided to us by Katherine Beach, Environmental Specialist, in 30 days after the meeting. Besides the above-mentioned information, we are still waiting for the following: Information about a newly installed vapor recovery system -- What kind of vapor recovery system is it? How does it work? How much did Shelly invest in the improvements so far? Shelly Materials, Inc. installed a new piece of burner equipment prior to the April 26, 2004 start-up date. What is new about this equipment and how is it supposed to work to eliminate odors and air pollution? What other control equipment is Shelly Materials, Inc. currently considering in other areas of the plant such as load-out racks to eliminate odors and pollution problems?" Bobbi Jo Hoak, Citizens for Clean Air; Simona Vaclavikova, Ohio Citizen Action, letter to Larry Shively, Vice President, Shelly Materials, Inc.
May 16: Six asphalt plants draw feds' scrutiny;
U.S. EPA seeks records following complaints of pollution, foul odor

Dispatch map

COLUMBUS -- "Teresa Mills, director of the Buckeye Environmental Network, says the Ohio EPA does little about the pollution the plants spew into the air while making blacktop for Ohio’s highways. 'I have seen children standing at their bus stops with their coats over their faces because the smell is so bad,' said Mills, of Grove City. . . .Another group, Ohio Citizen Action, is helping a Westerville neighborhood group fighting two asphalt plants in its area. 'People are suffering near these asphalt plants,' said Simona Vaclavikova, a Citizen Action program director. 'They are dealing with these horrendous odors, almost on a daily basis.' . . . Bobby Jo Hoak, a homeowner who lives near Shelly's Westerville plant, was happy to hear that the U.S. EPA is looking into the complaints. She said nearby asphalt plants, dormant over the winter, have already begun fouling the air. 'It's a beautiful day out today,' said Hoak, who has asthma. 'I'm sure some people are getting to experience it,'" Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.

COLUMBUS -- U.S. EPA investigating two Ohio asphalt companies, Associated Press.
May 10: Why is this asphalt plant on fire?

Gallipolis plant

GALLIPOLIS -- The photo above, and two others, were taken by neighbors of the Shelly/Middleport Terminal, Inc. asphalt plant in Gallipolis during the first week of May. They report alternating fire, dark grey smoke, and light smoke. Thanks to Wendy Bostic, Concerned Citizens of Kanauga.
May 5: On line photo gallery:
May 1 Shelly Asphalt "walk and talk"

Walk and talk participants

May 1 volunteers (full size photo and names of volunteers pictured).

WESTERVILLE -- On May 1, 2004, dozens of volunteers from across Ohio converged on Columbus for a day of door-to-door outreach to neighbors of Shelly Asphalt plants. Some volunteers visited Shelly neighbors in Westerville, and another crew canvassed door to door in the South Side neighborhoods near another Shelly Asphalt plant. Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus Area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action, (614) 263-4111.
Apr 29: Early results from Shelly Asphalt good-neighbor campaign: much more needed

New pollution logs for neighbors now available on line

New Shelly burner

WESTERVILLE -- On Monday, April 26, Shelly Asphalt in Westerville began operations for the summer with a new burner, pictured above. The company has also just installed a new vapor recovery system on their storage tanks at the Westerville facility. Both improvements were made as a result of the good-neighbor campaign led by the new Westerville group, Citizens for Clean Air, and Ohio Citizen Action. These welcome changes are just the start, however: The plant is currently operating without a legal permit, and has failed its stack test, releasing twice the allowed amount of volatile organic compounds and sulfur dioxide into the neighborhood. Further, the company plans to triple their hazardous air emissions. For more information, contact Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus Area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action, (614) 224-4111.

Apr 21: Request to provide information pursuant to the Clean Air Act

CHICAGO, IL -- ". . . Provide all emisison test summaries and stack test summaries conducted at all Hot Mix Asphalt facilities listed in Appendix C for the past five years. These tests must include, but are not limited to, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter testings," Stephen Rothblatt, Director, Air and Radiation Division, U.S. EPA Region V, letter to Mark Shelly, President, Shelly Materials, Inc.
Apr 15: Asphalt plant reps meet with citizens to discuss concerns

WESTERVILLE -- "A handful of representatives from The Shelly Co. met with about two dozen area residents last week to discuss concerns about the Shelly Materials asphalt plant on Westerville Road. The meeting was hosted by Citizens for Clean Air, a recently formed group of area residents, and Ohio Citizen Action, a statewide organization that aids groups such as Citizens for Clean Air. . . 'You can shut your windows, you can turn your air conditioner on and you can still smell it,' said Bobbi Jo Hoak, spokeswoman for Citizens for Clean Air. '(You) not only smell it, you taste it.' Her husband, Bob Hoak, described the odor as a chemical-like smell. The Hoaks live in Westerville, about a mile away from the Shelly Materials plant," Liz Pecek, ThisWeek Westerville.
Map of test sitesApr 12: Ohio residents near asphalt plants turn to low-tech device to test air

COLUMBUS -- "Westerville resident Bobbi Jo Hoak said the odors from a nearby plant are so bad they burn her eyes and nose. She said she recently developed asthma. 'If you are a sensitive person, it feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest,' Hoak said. In Gallipolis, about 90 miles southeast of Columbus in Gallia County, Wendy Bostic lives so close to an asphalt plant that she said she can throw a rock and hit one of the holding tanks. If the wind is blowing her way, the odors can be unbearable, she said. 'We call the EPA and they say the plant is in compliance,' Bostic said. 'We called the plant and they just hung up.' Bostic and Hoak linked up with [Teresa] Mills through her Buckeye Network and through another environmental watchdog group, Ohio Citizen Action. All of this sounds familiar to Denny Larson, the man who helped invent the buckets after officials dismissed concerns about the air surrounding a Unocal refinery near San Francisco. He said residents living near the plant decided to take action in 1994 after they woke up one morning to find their cars covered with a brown, caustic goo that turned out to be a chemical inadvertently released by the refinery. They eventually found a way to duplicate a $1,000 stainless steel testing device by using everyday parts, including 20-liter paint buckets, airtight lids, special bags and metal valves. The bucket testers, which cost $125 to $140 to construct, are used whenever residents notice a strong odor. One of the first tests revealed gasses that can lead to brain and nerve damage in humans. 'We’ve had tremendous results,' said Larson, who has since helped create about 50 brigades across the country," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch. Access fee; no link.
Apr 8: Asphalt plant: Meeting to focus on concerns about noise, odor, dust

WESTERVILLE -- "Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action are scheduled to host a meeting at 7 p.m. tonight (April 8) to discuss concerns with The Shelly Co. vice president Larry Shively. The groups are concerned about odor, noise and dust that come from Shelly Materials on Westerville Road, according to Citizens for Clean Air spokeswoman Bobbi Jo Hoak. 'When they are up at full steam, you have to shut your windows,' said Hoak, a Westerville resident who lives about a mile away from the asphalt plant, which is located outside of Westerville city limits. . . . Shively said that at tonight's meeting, he plans to listen to citizens' concerns about the plant. 'We're concerned that they're concerned,' Shively said. 'We want to be a good neighbor and we'll do everything we can to be a good neighbor.' The 7 p.m. meeting will be held in meeting room B at the Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St.," Liz Pecek, This Week Westerville.
DrawingMar 25:  There is a man standing on our porch

PICKERINGTON -- "There is a man standing on our porch. It's cold and damp out this evening. Sleet is falling from the sky. Its dinnertime. The doorbell rings. This man left the comforts of somewhere warm and dry and is willing to risk the rejection of our family and all of our neighbors for a cause? Why? What could be so important? My family's future and those of all my neighbors in Westerville is what is so important to him. If you could prevent preventable toxic waste, would you? Would you do it regardless of the cost? What could would be too high, Mr. Shively?," Michele Smythe, letter to Larry Shively, Vice President, Shelly Company, dated March 18.
Graphic by Angela Oster.
Mar 19:  Westerville officials, media invited to meeting with Shelly Asphalt

WESTERVILLE -- "Citizens for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action invite you to a meeting on Thursday April 8, 2004 at 7 pm. It will be held at the Westerville Public Library- Meeting Room B, 126 S. State St. in Uptown Westerville. Larry Shively, Vice President of Shelly Materials, will be present to answer questions about the asphalt producing plants located at 6055 Westerville Rd. near 270/Rt. 3. According to copies of reports our group has obtained from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Shelly Materials has not been complying with their environmental permits and currently operates without a legal permit. This plant has failed their stack tests and is releasing two times the allowable limit of volatile organic compounds and sulfur dioxide into the air we breathe. It appears there is better emission control equipment available to minimize odors and control pollution coming from their stacks. The pounding odor, noise and dust associated with this plant are a public nuisance," Bobbi Jo Hoak, Spokesperson, Citizens for Clean Air, letter to Blendon Township Trustees; Westerville City Council, Manager and Assistant Manager; Westerville City Schools and Superintendent; Westerville Area Civic Associations; Westerville media.
Mar 17:  Group forming to fight asphalt plant

WESTERVILLE -- "A community advocacy group is forming to fight air pollution it alleges is coming from a Westerville area asphalt processing plant. Citizens for Clean Air is led by Westerville resident Bobbie Jo Hoak and she wants Shelly Materials, 6055 Westerville Road, to clean up what she calls excessive and potentially illegal emissions coming from its smokestacks. The group is holding a 7:00 PM April 8 meeting at the Westerville Public Library, Meeting Room B, with other community members and a Shelly vice president. . . . Hoak also has enlisted the help of Ohio Citizen Action, the advocacy group that forced the Columbus Steel Drum Co. to comply with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency clean-air guidelines. Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus program director for Ohio Citizen Action, the leader in the fight against Columbus Steel Drum, said she urges companies to take a 'good neighbor' approach and work with communities instead of resisiting community advocacy groups,'" John Sheridan, Westerville News.
Mar 11:  Guess who your neighbor is

WESTERVILLE -- "Did you know? Shelly asphalt plant is less than a mile from us. Seven schools are within one mile of this plant. This plant has not complied with its environmental permits and is currently operating without a legal permit. The plant failed its stack tests and released twice as much volatile organic compounds and sulfur dioxide into our neighborhood. The plant did not install any adequate control equipment to minimize odors and destroy air pollution coming from its stacks. The Ohio EPA has a plan to allow Shelly asphalt plant to pollute even more in our neighborhood,'" flyer, Citizens for Clean Air.
For more information or to get involved, contact Simona Vaclavikova, Columbus Area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action, (216) 861-5200.