By ROGER ADKINS, Staff Writer
— An environmental awareness group spoke to city officials Thursday
regarding its concerns about the air quality in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Neighbors for Clean Air attended a 7 p.m. city council meeting Thursday
to voice concerns about pollution from Eramet of Marietta. Barbara
Stewart, group member, presented city council members with a 26-page
document called “Citizens’ Audit of Eramet Marietta.” Neighbors for
Clean Air of Marietta and the Ohio Citizen Action Center of Cincinnati
are listed as the authors.
The groups have gone to other
government bodies in the area in an effort to increase awareness of
environmental issues surrounding the plant.
John Whistler, group
member, said the group is not “anti-Eramet.” NCA recognizes the plant’s
industrial importance and is not seeking to shut down the facility, he
said. However, the group is concerned about the plant’s emissions and
is leading a campaign calling for improvements.
“We have identified Eramet as the primary polluter in the area,” Whistler said.
Specifically, the group is concerned about the levels of manganese-containing dust released by the plant.
According to the audit, Eramet’s Marietta plant is unique in the U.S. and Canada.
plant is one of the world’s largest manganese ferroalloys production
sites and is the only producer of manganese ferroalloys in the United
States and Canada,” according to the audit.
Samples taken from
sites around the Mid-Ohio Valley revealed manganese dust, the group
said. The samples were taken from the siding of homes and similar
locations. Chromium also was found in a large portion of the samples,
the group said.
The company owns a similar plant in Norway that
produce significantly less pollution than the local plant, according to
the audit. For example, in 2004 Eramet Marietta released 10 times the
amount of manganese dust as the Norway counterpart, according to the
NCA believes the local plant should use the same control measures and processes as the plant in Norway.
believe that it’s time for the citizens of the area to take the matter
into their own hands and get something done,” Whistler said.
Ruth Breech of the Ohio Citizen Action group said Eramet needs to become a better industrial neighbor.
“We know there are investments they can make to be better corporate citizens in the area,” she said.
Marshall, city council member, said the Neigbors for Clean Air and Ohio
Citizen Action are to be commended for their work in making citizens
aware of these issues.
“Your efforts are appreciated,” he said.
said the groups had representatives going door-to-door in Vienna on
Thursday to discuss the issue with citizens. That will continue today,
In other business:
? Council tabled bid
approvals for the purchase of three trucks for the public works
department, an excavator and a fire truck. The measures were tabled
because better rates for financing have been discovered, but council
members have not had a chance to review that information, said Mayor
David C. Nohe.
Contact Roger Adkins at email@example.com.