Jun 12: University of Cincinnati researcher studying manganese exposure in Marietta

Dr. Haynes
Dr. Erin Haynes interview
part 1
11,851 kb mp3
part 2
5,778 kb mp3
MARIETTA -- "In the second phase of her study, Haynes is trying to recruit 600 area residents to participate in a short online survey about air pollution. Haynes plans to use the confidential survey results to determine how to best perform a larger study of manganese exposure in the area. Survey answers can be submitted online at www.eh.uc.edu/ches. People who do not have access to the Internet can request a hard copy of the survey by contacting Elizabeth Kopras at koprasej@uc.edu or (513) 558-3625," May 7, 2007 interview by Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Melissa English at Eramet's headquarters.
Jun 6: Honeymoon in Paris

COLUMBUS -- "Cincinnati Area Program Director Melissa English paid a visit to Eramet headquarters in Paris while on her recent honeymoon. Eramet CEO Patrick Buffet was unavailable for a meeting, but Melissa delivered 307 handwritten letters from Ohioans fed up with manganese pollution from Eramet's Marietta plant. Recently hired, Mr. Buffet is in his own honeymoon period. Congratulations on your new position, Mr. Buffet. Please make a fresh start by committing to pollution reduction at Eramet Marietta," Ohio Citizen Action.

May 30: Eramet stink diary

diaryPINEHURST -- "WTAP-TV News - air quality as reported by the WV DEP 100 Moderate (read at 7:00 am @ 56°) 83° at 5:00 pm WHAT IS IT NOW? Friday, May 25 - 10:00 am Rt. 7 to St. Rt. 550 to Michaelis Rd - NOTE*** WTAP-TV News - air quality as reported by the WV DEP 79 Moderate (read at 7:00 am) Memorial Day Weekend - Saturday, May 26 - 8:10 am home 60° no wind. Would have been a nice day to hang out clothes to dry if it didn't SMELL! Sunday, May 27 - 6 am briefly and again at 8:20 am hazy and strong smell 68° no wind Monday, May 28 - 5:45 am home Memorial Day As of May 29, 2007 – we have experienced 36 smell episodes in 2007," Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

May 29: AEP, clean air don’t mix

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- "This is in response to the Clean Air in Washington County. I have lived three miles from the AEP plant for 18 years and believe me we do not have clean air. In the middle of the night they blow their stacks and the next morning everything is covered with a brown dust. It looks like the seven dust you put on roses. Our white plastic lawn furniture is covered with black spots. The white parts of our home has the same black spots. My apples are not fit to eat," Melanie Anne Comisford, letter to the Editor, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

May 21: Lung association joins call for stricter emission rules

MARIETTA -- "As you mentioned, the number of children who have asthma is rising, and Washington County is seeing an increase also. Though the causes of the rise in asthma cases is not yet understood, what is plainly understood is how air pollution affects people with the disease. High levels of air pollution mean that the growing number of children and adults with asthma in Washington County are more likely to have asthma attacks and to visit the emergency room because of their attacks," Shelly Kiser, letter to the Editor, Marietta Times.

May 11: Could the tooth fairy hold some answers to local questions about air pollution?

MARIETTA -- "A researcher from the University of Cincinnati says studying the lost teeth of area children could help scientists measure environmental impacts from plant emissions. In particular, Dr. Erin Haynes hopes to be able to tell something about exposure to manganese. Haynes is trying to determine what local people might be willing to contribute to a health study – and lost baby teeth are just one possibility. Last year Haynes sampled the blood of some area residents and checked for manganese, iron, and chromium – all substances emitted by Eramet Marietta, according to the US EPA. In the second phase of her study, Haynes is trying to recruit 600 area residents to participate in a short online survey about air pollution," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

May 3: Areva's Eramet coup may presage tie-up, mining boost

PARIS -- "The corporate coup also is one of many signs the French nuclear engineering company would like to boost its mining operations to secure valuable uranium supplies, as Areva could use Eramet's diversified assets in swap deals, they added. State-owned Areva's ambitions could face political snags, however, as France awaits an impending change of presidency, the observers said. Last Wednesday, Eramet shareholders followed the board's unexpected decision to oust Chief Executive Jacques Bacardats, voting against renewing the 60-year-old executive's mandate," Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Market Watch.

May 2: Mid-Ohio Valley residents needed for air pollution survey

Researcher Sandy Roda tests blood for trace metals.
CINCINNATI -- "University of Cincinnati environmental health researchers are asking residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley to share their concerns and opinions about pollution and air quality in their region through an anonymous survey... In November 2006, Haynes’ team conducted a pilot study that evaluated about 140 residents from Marietta and nearby communities for potentially dangerous exposures to manganese, chromium and lead. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, all three metals are being emitted from Marietta’s Eramet facility, the leading manganese refinery in the United States and Canada

," press release, University of Cincinnati.

May 2: Area's air quality gets an ‘F’ in new report

Traffic moves along busy Pike Street. Pollution from vehicles is one of the reasons the area’s air got a grade of “F” in a new report.
MARIETTA -- "Washington County has received another failing grade in the subject of air quality, according to the American Lung Association's 'State of the Air 2007' report card released on Tuesday... 'I think the air quality issue is something that does need to be addressed,' said Scot Monaghan, owner of Barking Dog Books and Art on Front Street. 'I don't believe that industries are doing this on purpose to harm people, but I think the EPA needs to enforce what they already have on the books,'" Sam Shawver, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Our Opinion: Failing grade for ozone a concern, editorial, Marietta Times.

Apr 30: Eramet CEO Buffet steps down from Areva's supervisory board

what are you made of?
Eramet ad campaign: "Of which metal are you made?"

PARIS -- "Eramet's newly appointed chairman and chief executive Patrick Buffet has resigned from Areva's supervisory board amid controversy over the French nuclear energy giant's role in the removal of his Eramet predecessor, a source from Areva told Agence France-Presse, confirming reports in today's press... Last week, Eramet shareholders Areva and the Duval family who hold respective 37 pct and 26 pct stakes in Eramet, voted to oust existing chairman Jacques Bacardats at Eramet's AGM, saying the move was to ensure management continuity," Vicky Buffery, Forbes Magazine.

Apr 27: Major stakeholders oust Jacques Bacardats from French mining company

PARIS -- "The outcome of Eramet's general meeting last Monday sent shockwaves through the French mining company. Its two major shareholders, the Duval family and Areva, voted for Jacques Bacardats' control of the group to be discontinued. The decision was taken to oust Bacardats from Eramet despite an increase in the company's share price from €38.50 in 2003 to €165 in 2007 under his leadership. The unsuspecting CEO delivered his farewell message at the meeting, explaining that the Duval family and Areva had deemed him too elderly to continue the group's development strategy," Investor Relations Magazine.

Apr 25: Three plants change management

MARIETTA -- "It’s the tale of three industrial facilities – three plants – all located on State Route 7 just south of Marietta. And, though they have almost nothing else in common, the three sites are all undergoing a change in leadership... Earlier this year, Eramet CEO Russ Craig and Solvay plant manager Richard Casey both retired, leaving two prime openings," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Apr 24: EPA emission test on Eramet furnace set for next month

MARIETTA -- "Eramet Marietta will have a chance next month to prove the company’s No. 1 furnace is in good working order. The equipment was found to be out of compliance in November during a particulate emission test by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The test, performed on Nov. 8, showed a total emissions rate from the furnace of 36.4 pounds per hour, above the 27.2 pounds per hour rate allowed by Ohio EPA for a furnace operating under a load of 25 megawatts or less," Sam Shawver, Marietta Times.

Apr 18: Polluting the air we breathe is a sin to this writer

MARIETTA -- "It seems to me that we’re in need of a commandment that says, 'Thou shall not poison thy neighbor’s air...' Only some of those exposed to poisons in the air die from their effects. Some are sickened and some show no impact whatsoever. But make no mistake: air pollution is a moral issue," L.P. McGovern, letter to the editor, Marietta Times.

Apr 16: Researchers look for answers about air pollution

MARIETTA -- "University of Cincinnati environmental health researchers are asking residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley to share their concerns and opinions about pollution and air quality in their region through an anonymous survey. This community air pollution survey is part of ongoing research related to the health effects of metal exposures in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.Last year, a team led by Dr. Erin Haynes conducted a pilot study that evaluated about 140 residents from Marietta and nearby communities for potentially dangerous exposures to manganese, chromium and lead," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Apr 12: Eramet furnace failed emissions testing

MARIETTA -- "Your WMOA news team has obtained a document which shows that Eramet's troubled furnace one, which has experienced two recent burn-throughs, failed emissions testing performed in November of last year. A notice from the Ohio EPA, dated April 5, says the results of the test showed the source to be out of compliance with applicable regulations and existing plant permits... Last year the company sent a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency that included plans to reline that problematic furnace. Despite the accidents, so far it’s an upgrade that has yet to occur," Callie Lyons, WMOA.
Mar 27: Campaign aims to clean up plant ranked as major health threat

Eramet MariettaMARIETTA -- "Due to the plant's age and the uniqueness of its operations, Eramet is exempt from many environmental regulations, said Bruce Weinberg, an air-pollution specialist with the Air Pollution Control Division of the OEPA's Southeast District office in Logan. 'Unless they modify (equipment and processes), they don't necessarily subject themselves to new regulation,' he said. According to Weinberg, the U.S. EPA developed its Maximum Available Control Technology pollution reduction standards mainly by comparing similar facilities. In the absence of comparable facilities to Eramet, he said the EPA 'pretty much worked directly with the facility itself to try to establish these emission levels,'" Damon Krane, Athens News.

Mar 21: Eramet Marietta neighbors speak out

MARIETTA -- Neighbors of the Eramet Marietta plant in Washington County, Ohio tell their story of living with the toxic emissions of one of the top polluters in the region. Property owners, business owners, parents and scientists all agree that Eramet needs to reduce its pollution and be a good neighbor. Please contact us to get a copy of this documentary or to invite Neighbors for Clean Air or Ohio Citizen Action to show the documentary at your next community meeting or event.

Watch the entire documentary

Mar 16: Eramet told OEPA of plans to reline problematic furnace

MARIETTA -- "Another favorable aspect of the upgrade is a reduction in carbon consumption accompanied by a 14 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. It will also allow the company to produce more alloy. The Neighbors for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action want to know why the upgrade, which could have prevented the recent accidents, hasn’t been performed. A letter from the two groups asks Eramet’s CEO why the furnace hasn’t been fixed yet," Callie Lyons, WMOA News.

Mar 15: What are the plans for Eramet Marietta?

Jacques Bacardats
MARIETTA -- "Eramet Marietta has experienced two accidents in the past month. The neighbors, workers and community of Marietta have a right to know what your plans are for the Eramet facility. Did you prolong the furnace improvement because of the lockout from August 2006 - February 2007? Are there other plans for improvements at the Marietta plant that are not being implemented? We look forward to hearing a response," Letter to Eramet CEO Jacques Bacardats from Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air, and Ruth Breech, Ohio Citizen Action.
Mar 13: ATSDR extends investigation of air emissions

Marietta mapATLANTA -- "As part of the air quality investigation of the Marietta Air Emissions Site in Ohio, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has added additional air monitoring stations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will operate the air monitors and perform the laboratory analyses in the year-long data collection designed to show whether chemical emissions from five facilities in the former Union Carbide industrial complex may affect human health," The Student Operated Press.

Mar 10: Local air study widens

MARIETTA -- "Additional monitoring is a breath of fresh air to members of Neighbors of Clean Air, a citizen group that has worked more than a decade for this news. 'It’s been needed to be done. We are very pleased,' said Caroline Beidler, with the group since the beginning. We’ve waited a long time for this,'" Connie Cartmell, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Incidents at Eramet a concern, editorial, Marietta Times.

Mar 9: Another leak at Eramet

MARIETTA -- "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," Marietta Times.

Mar 8: Eramet releases 2006 annual results

CINCINNATI -- "Eramet President Jacques Barcardat announced Eramet's 2006 financial results today, stating: '2006 was an excellent year, with further progress on our 2005 performance, when results were already very strong.' In New Caledonia, Eramet will be replacing old equipment, revamping four ore furnaces and an electric arc furnace (similar to Eramet Marietta), adding 120 jobs for the region. Eramet states that replacing old equipment 'enhances its competitiveness while improving environmental performance.' Ohio Citizen Action and Neighbors for Clean Air couldn't agree more. When are the investments and improvements going to be made in Marietta?," Ruth Breech, Ohio Citizen Action.

PARIS, FRANCE -- Eramet Group: 2006 annual results, press release, Eramet Group.

Mar 6: Ohio EPA says Eramet leaked 90-110,000 pounds of metal and slag

MARIETTA -- Ohio Citizen Action asked Ohio EPA to answer questions about the February 23 silicomanganese leak at Eramet, caused by a hole in Furnace #1.   The furnace is now closed until repairs are made.

Mar 1: Eramet emissions: U.S. EPA assesses risk

MARIETTA -- "French-owned Eramet Marietta has resolved its recent five-month labor dispute with the United Steelworkers, but has yet to resolve the matter of its airborn manganese emissions - and those will be the focus of future scrutiny by researchers, government agencies, and a number of concerned citizens," Tom Lotshaw, Marietta Register.

MARIETTA -- Agencies to monitor Eramet manganese emissions, Tom Lotshaw, Marietta Register.

Feb 28: Neighbors have questions about Eramet's "red death"

MARIETTA -- "Over the past six months, your plant locked out the members of the United Steelworkers Union. During that time, we interviewed workers who told us some of the health and safety problems they have experienced at your facility, commenting on the dust that covers them when they are working in specific parts of the plant. They call this dust, from the manganese oxygen refining process, 'red death.' Workers described the 'red death' as a fine powder that 'covers your whole body and stays in the cracks of your skin even after showering,'" Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air, and Ruth Breech, Ohio Citizen Action, letter to M. Jacques Bacardats, CEO of Eramet International.

Feb 27: Brush with pollution inspires crusade
Pinehurst woman fights for clean air in the valley

Caroline Beidler

MARIETTA -- "In addition, Beidler has gotten the assistance of Ohio Citizen Action, another community organization, to help Neighbors for Clean Air. 'We're working on a good neighbor campaign with Eramet, Beidler said. We would like Eramet to be a good neighbor, and to reduce its emissions. We are not trying to shut them down,'" Diana Decola, Marietta Times. Article originally published March 2006.

Feb 24: Nothing unusual leaked from furnace at Eramet

MARIETTA -- "Marietta firefighters were on standby at the scene at the request of the Warren Volunteer Fire Department after smoke was reported. First responders at the plant handled the situation, said Ethan Frank-Collins, director of human resources with Eramet. There were no injuries. The substance leaking from the furnace was molten silicomanganese, a material produced at the plant, Frank-Collins said. It would have exited the furnace at another point anyway, he said," Marietta Times.

Feb 23: Hole burns in furnace at Eramet; area contained

MARIETTA -- "Marietta Fire Department responded to a call from Warren Volunteer Fire Department for help early today at the Eramet plant on Ohio 7 when smoke was reported from a furnace. 'A hole burned in one of the furnaces allowing a material of some sort to leak out,' said Capt Bruce Weckbacher, of the Marietta fire department. 'We were able to put a dike around it and secure the material leaking. There never was a fire, just smoke'," Marietta Times.

Feb 7: Our Opinion: Mutual respect important at Eramet

Eramet Marietta employee Steve Tornes and other employees returned to their jobs Monday.

MARIETTA -- "With locked-out Eramet workers back on the job this week, we urge employees on both sides of the dispute to put differences aside and treat each other with mutual respect. That can be a tall order after such a prolonged dispute. Union workers remained on the picket line for several months. Contract offers were voted down twice before an agreement was reached this past weekend," editorial, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Eramet workers return, Brad Bauer, Marietta Times.

Feb 5: Dear Stink Diary:

stink diaryMARIETTA -- "In January we recorded 16 separate days with what I would call strong Eramet odors... Jan 21 - Home 10:30 pm (34° mist and haze,snow) What could have been a beautiful, peaceful snowfall —SMELLED!!!; Jan 22 - Virginia Street, Putnam Street, 4th Street, Union Square 8 am; Jan 24 - Virginia Street 7:30 am; Jan 26 - Michaelis Road 5-5:30 pm Heavy haze over the valley extended to Eramet; Jan 27 - St Rt 550, entire West Side, Front, Putnam 7:55 am Keith headache upon driving through odor; Jan 30 - Home 5:30 am.," Caroline Biedler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

Feb 3: Eramet union OKs deal

workerMARIETTA -- "Eramet Marietta officials were pleased, but union workers say there was little to celebrate after they ratified a three-year contract with the company on Friday. 'Most of our members do not like this contract, but felt they needed to return to work to provide income for their families,' said Jim Deem, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-00639. A vote by 241 of the union’s 266 membership ended a 160-day labor dispute," Sam Shawver, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Eramet workers appreciate community’s support, Steve Brown, letter to the Editor, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Workers vote to end 5-month labor dispute with Eramet Marietta, Akron Beacon Journal.

MARIETTA -- USW and Eramet Reach Agreement, Rachel Withers, WTAP News.

Feb 1: Citizen Action members write 23,000 letters to Eramet

The Southwest Ohio Citizen Action staff has helped collect over 23,000 letters from Ohio Citizen Action members. Left to right: Walter Sullivan, Marcus Perkins, Rachael Belz, Gerald Brown (back), Badriyyah Salaam, Kristy Rosen, Donald Whitehead, Crystal Cottrill, Heather Sayre, Alison Baker, Mandy Duncan, Laura Barkley (back), Pete Cunningham, Jason Reibold (seated), Curt Moultine, Della Walker, Ruth Breech.

Jan 31: Area's worst polluter locks out workers for holiday season

ATHENS -- "Back at the offices of Ohio Citizen Action, Ruth Breech, who heads up the group's Eramet campaign, is convinced the company has the resources to do better for its workers while also reducing its toxic emissions for the sake of the entire community. 'Unfortunately, a lot of these companies look at Southeast Ohio like a third world country,' said Breech. 'They don't want to pay the labor costs. They don't want to improve the environmental stuff. They don't want to pay the money it takes to run a good business,'" Damon Krane, The InterActivist.

Jan 30: Letter from Marietta to Paris

There are 3,941 miles between Paris, France and Marietta, Ohio.

MARIETTA -- "It is time for you to respond with innovative and effective leadership. The decisions made in Paris are affecting many local neighbors and workers thousands of miles away. Neighbors of the Marietta plant are being exposed to millions of pounds of toxic materials, the extent of the exposure is currently being tested by the University of Cincinnati. These emissions are not only unsafe for neighbors, but also demonstrate a waste of valuable materials and a lack of efficiency at Eramet Marietta. Improving the processes and preventing pollution in Marietta will make the company more efficient and protect your bottom line," Caroline C. Beidler and Keith E. Bailey, Neighbors for Clean Air.

MARIETTA -- Third time the charm?, Rachel Withers, WTAP News.

Jan 26: Dear Eramet:

CINCINNATI -- A young neighbor of Eramet gets her message across in two words that the French-owned company can understand.

Jan 23: Negotiations continue between union, Eramet

MARIETTA -- "Labor negotiations continued Monday between Eramet Marietta officials and United Steelworkers. The labor dispute has continued since late August. About 300 steelworkers were ruled to be locked out of the plant after refusing to sign a new contract that modified medical and retirement benefits. Last week, union leaders presented the French-owned company a counteroffer to resolve the standoff. It is unclear when the groups will meet again," Marietta Times.

Jan 22: Eramet families wait, hope

MARIETTA -- "While the negotiations continue for Eramet and union workers, family members say they have found support from each other to make it through an emotional time. Becky Henke, 57, of Boaz, W.Va., said that while her husband, Ralph, is involved in the labor dispute, everything is a big question mark. 'It’s very uncertain and you can’t plan anything,' she said. 'It’s like your life is on hold and it’s scary at our age,'" Diana DeCola, Marietta Times.

Jan 18: Eramet, union still bargaining

MARIETTA -- "Officials with Eramet met with union officials Wednesday to continue negotiations on the employee benefit contract but no agreement was reached. Another meeting is scheduled for Monday to continue the discussion. Denny Longwell, staff representative for District One of the United Steelworkers Union, gave a positive outlook on the day’s meeting. 'We are bargaining. There are some very difficult issues we’re dealing with,'" Diana DeCola, Marietta Times.

Jan 10: Eramet union makes counteroffer

MARIETTA -- "A counteroffer to end the more than 136-day labor dispute was presented by union leaders to Eramet officials Tuesday. The proposal by United Steelworkers Local 00639 came in a federally mediated meeting at the Lafayette Hotel. It is in response to the company’s proposal that was rejected by steelworkers on Dec. 6. Ethan Frank-Collins, Eramet human resources manager, declined to discuss specifics of the proposal," Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Our Opinion: Improved ozone level good news in the Valley, editorial, Marietta Times.

Jan 9: EPA sees air quality improving

CHICAGO, IL -- "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for Washington and Wood counties to be re-considered in a national air quality standard due to the region’s improving air. Specifically, the agency is filing a redesignation for the two counties to 'attainment' of the national ambient air quality standard. 'It (redesignation) is an indication in the improvement of air quality in the area,' said Steve Marquardt, environmental engineer with U.S. EPA Region 5," Kevin Pierson, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Clean Air?, Elizabeth Green, WTAP News.

Jan 3: 2006 Stink Diary Review

PINEHURST -- "I have many entries citing odor-induced headaches, breathing problems and sore throats. I have records of muscle aches, flu-like symptoms and fatigue following odor episodes. 47 entries were recorded between the hours of 5:00 am and 10:30 am. Most odor incidents were recorded at our home, 4-5 miles from Eramet. Some were in Marietta and others across the river in West Virginia. Today, on the first day of 2007 Eramet’s odor has already been experienced. Out with the old in with the new? Wishful thinking," Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

Older Eramet news Jul 2006 - Dec 2006,
March 2000 - Jun 2006

Melissa English
Ohio Citizen Action
(513) 221-2100

Neighbors for Clean Air

P.O. Box 295
Marietta, OH 45750

What's the problem?

Citizens' Audit of Eramet


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33,779 neighbors have sent handwritten letters and petitions urging Eramet Marietta to be a good neighbor, as of Jul, 9, 2007.

Older Eramet news
Jul 2006 - Dec 2006

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