By Paul Kita
Members of Neighbors for Clean Air dropped off a copy of their report
to the Washington County commissioners office Thursday and the two
sides spoke primarily on the topic of Eramet.
“Our goal is to
make them (the commissioners) aware it’s (Neighbors for Clean Air) a
group of citizens and the report highlights an important issue in our
lovely town of Marietta,” said John Whistler, one of the members who
presented the 26-page summary of their findings.
centers on the actions of Eramet’s output of chemicals such as
manganese and chromium, which Neighbors for Clean Air believe could be
harmful but await further confirmation studies by the EPA.
Commissioner Sam Cook voiced concerns that Neighbors for Clean Air was
broadcasting unfounded claims that pollution in the area is causing
residents to move out of Marietta.
Whistler and Barbara Stewart,
the other Neighbors for Clean Air member present, said they knew of
people personally who had left the area due to pollution and Cook asked
for the two to direct him to those people because he was unaware of the
Cook also expressed concerns over businesses leaving the
area after what he cited as three indicators: a lack of money invested
in the facility, labor management issues and poor press in the media.
Cook’s statements were not directly stated as in reference to Eramet,
Ethan Frank-Collins, spokesman for Eramet, said the company estimates
it contributes $65 million annual to the local economy.
Eramet employs a full-time environmental staff and has spent than $5 million on emissions abatement efforts.
made significant and steady improvements to reduce pollution, and any
idea that we aren’t currently doing so isn’t accurate,” Frank-Collins
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