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Friday, March 09, 2007
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Another leak at Eramet

From Staff Reports


Early Thursday morning, molten metal leaked out of a furnace at Eramet, the second burn-through at that furnace in two weeks.

Eramet spokesman Ethan Frank-Collins said liquid silicomanganese burned through a portion of the furnace around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. It happened near the site of the previous burn-through on Feb. 23.

The Warren Township Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene as a precaution. Frank-Collins said the molten material did cause “a small, mobile equipment fire” that was quickly extinguished.

No one was injured in Thursday’s incident or on Feb. 23, he said.

Eramet reported Thursday’s incident to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, even though it was not required, Frank-Collins said.

“We do this as a courtesy, as part of our ongoing communication,” he said, noting people might be concerned when they hear about an incident at the plant, located on Ohio 7 between Marietta and Belpre.

Some citizens have expressed concerns about the Feb. 23 incident, which also was reported to the EPA. Ohio EPA spokesman Jim Leach said that incident posed no threat to the community or the environment.

“We certainly don’t see any threat to the community and as far as we’re concerned there is no environmental impact from this,” Leach said.

Silicomanganese is used in the production of steel, and basically spilled onto the floor rather than into a cast, Leach said.

The material eventually comes out of the furnace anyway, Frank-Collins said, but the burn-throughs cause it to happen at an unintended location.

“There’s nothing out of the ordinary in terms of the emissions or anything like that,” he said.

Leach had not been notified of Thursday’s burn-through when he was contacted by The Times.

The company is investigating the cause of the incidents, Frank-Collins said.

On average, burn-throughs happen about twice a year, he said.

 

 

 










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