By Kevin Pierson
Outreach to public officials by the Neighbors For Clean Air is
beginning to show results as the group has arranged a tentative meeting
with Congressman Ted Strickland, D-Lisbon, and an Ohio gubernatorial
A time and location for the meeting to
discuss the group’s good neighbor campaign with Eramet, Marietta, is
expected to be confirmed today, said Neighbors For Clean Air member
Caroline Beidler, of Pinehurst.
Beidler previously met with representatives from Strickland’s office last month.
the meeting Strickland’s office attempted to arrange a face to face
meeting between Eramet officials and the clean air group, Beidler said.
fact that Congressman Strickland is willing to intervene is hopeful for
us,” Beidler said. “It gives us hope we can get together and talk like
Shortly after the release of a citizen audit by the
group June 1 Eramet officials said they do not plan to meet with them
because the company feels the group is spreading misinformation about
Mike Jacoby, executive director of the
Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, has also been trying to arrange a
meeting between the two parties so the lack of cooperation from the
company is frustrating, especially since the group would like to
correct any misinformation it has gathered, Beidler said.
“We need to meet so they can tell us what is misinformation. That’s why we need to sit down,” Beidler said.
Another reason cited by the company not to meet is the lack of local complaints.
to Ruth Breech, southern Ohio program director for Ohio Citizen Action,
more than 3,800 letters have been written to the company urging them to
reduce their plant emissions.
Eramet officials said only about
30 of those letters came from local residents but Marietta resident
Lesley Kuhl, of Sixth Street, said many long distance writers have
“People from far away are going to write letters if they are related to somebody here,” Kuhl said.
letters, citizen audit and meeting with Strickland are all part of an
increased focus on community outreach over the summer months.
“This is a concerted effort on outreach. We are going to be talking and talking and talking,” Breech said.
of Neighbors For Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action will be going door
to door in Marietta and Belpre June 16 and 17 and also plan to canvas
the Farmer’s Market.
The next meeting of the Neighbors For Clean Air is 7 p.m. Thursday, June 29. A location has not yet been set.
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