Company in hot water with EPA, local
Columbus Steel Drum isn't
following its own
compliance plan, says Ohio Citizen Action
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has cited a Gahanna-area company
with its seventh notice of violation related to its air quality permit.
The most recent notice was dated Aug. 19.
Columbus Steel Drum, located on Blatt Boulevard in Gahanna's
industrial district, came under fire in May when a power outage on a
furnace scrubber unit caused a natural gas-like odor to drift northward
towards City Hall and westward to Chapelfield Road. During that time, 71
complaints were registered with the Mifflin Division of Fire, the
Gahanna Division of Police and Columbia Gas. The company's 18-acre
facility reconditions used steel drums for resale.
then, Columbus Steel Drum said it has hired a full-time environmental
manager and drafted a compliance plan that was sent to the Ohio EPA on
least one organization, Ohio Citizen Action, says the
compliance plan is not being followed. The group held a public meeting
Thursday night at New Horizons Community Church.
|"We're working with
the city. We're working with the EPA. We're trying to get this
resolved and behind us."|
Columbus Steel Drum
had several members in the community who have contacted us in the last
two weeks," said Kathy Remias, the group's program assistant. Remias
said the complaints were of a "paint-thinner odor" coming from Columbus
"They're still not correcting the problem," Remias said. "As far
as we know, it appears that nobody is managing this compliance
Grannan, operations manager for Columbus Steel Drum, said the company
has an employee handling compliance issues through the company's
Ohio EPA also has raised issues with the company's compliance plan. In a
letter dated Aug. 9, the Ohio EPA stated concerns with the plan and gave
Columbus Steel Drum 30 days to respond.
now, we have not gotten any response," said Ohio EPA spokesman Mike
Columbus Steel Drum officials said they remain hopeful that the
matter can be resolved shortly.
trying to be proactive," said Ron Grannan, operations manager for the
company. According to Grannan, two scrubbers already have been
installed, with a third awaiting the final hookup process. He said a
response to the EPA letter on compliance issues will be forthcoming and
within the 30-day time frame.
Ohio Citizen Action, which boasts 100,000 members in Ohio,
continues to look for ways to address the problem it sees with the
company. Remias said the group has collected more than 7,000 letters
from the community and forwarded them to Columbus Steel Drum during the
past seven months.
Another community meeting tentatively is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Thursday's gathering was attended by about 25 citizens, 10 of whom said
they are in the process of filing formal complaints with the Ohio
feel it's an unbearable situation," Remias said. "They just want the
company to solve the problem directly and to be a good
with air violations from the EPA, the company also has been fined
$21,400 by the city of Columbus' Department of Public Utilities Division
of Sewerage and Drainage for exceeding limits set forth in the company's
Grannan said Columbus Steel Drum submitted an engineering plan to address the sewage issues on July 18 and is waiting on
In the meantime, Grannan said his company is trying to be a good neighbor.
"We're working with the city. We're working with the EPA. We're trying to get this resolved and behind us," he