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June 04, 2001

 





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Article published June 2, 2001

Readers Forum
Brush Wellman incident properly handled

Your May 18 editorial concerning the incident that occurred at Brush Wellman on Feb. 15 is woefully off the mark, and provides definitive proof of who really "doesn’t get it."

The incident that occurred at our plant was unacceptable, as we have said from the outset. Nevertheless, we are proud of Brush Wellman’s emergency response team. Brush Wellman acted in the most professional manner possible throughout this incident, placing the safety of the public above all else.

This was confirmed in a letter from the Ottawa County Commissioners, of which you have had a copy for two months. The commissioners commended Brush’s "prompt notification of off-site agencies, their actions in recommending a precautionary evacuation of some residents near the plant, and their cooperation with local officials during this incident."

One has to wonder where the true "sophistry" lies. While Brush Wellman does contest whether the barrel contained "waste" as defined under EPA regulations, it has never contended that the incident posed no potential hazards. In addition, Brush Wellman has begun to proactively address each of the EPA items listed in the notice of violation. The incident was treated as a hazardous materials response at all times, and any implication to the contrary is true "sophistry."

It is a disservice to the reading public that The Blade continually forces its opinion onto the editorial page without carefully examining the information it already has in its possession. By doing so, it unfairly attacks the nearly 900 men and women who work for Brush Wellman and know firsthand the company’s commitment to emergency response.

HAROLD A. WIEGARD
Plant Manager
Brush Wellman
Elmore

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