Dec 19: President Sarkozy: Use your influence to clean up Eramet Marietta

SarkozyMARIETTA -- "People from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia have sent over 44,000 letters to French owned Eramet Marietta Inc., urging them to prevent emissions of manganese and other pollution. So far, the company has not made any major changes and has even refused to meet with the people who are affected by its pollution.  Ohio Citizen Action and Neighbors for Clean Air, which are spearheading the Eramet campaign, are now writing letters to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, via the French Embassy in Washington , D.C.  On his recent visit, President Sarkozy expressed great regard and friendship toward the United States. His government owns 99% of a company called Areva, which in turn owns 25% of Eramet. Therefore, he has an opportunity to help Eramet become a good neighbor," Melissa English, Cincinnati Area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action. (26 k doc)

Dec 18: Kids' drawings and letters to Eramet Marietta

Dec 12: Jury awards welder $17.5M

welder CLEVELAND -- "A federal jury awarded $17.5 million to a welder who sued five companies on claims that he got sick from inhaled fumes, marking the second time in 18 such cases that a verdict has come down on the side of workers. It's the first victory since 2003 for welders, who say companies that made the welding products gave them little warning about the dangers of inhaling welding fumes. Welding companies had previously won 16 of 17 such cases and their lawyers say they will appeal the jury's verdict, which came Wednesday following a 12-day trial and more than a week of deliberation," Associated Press, Cincinnati Post.

Dec 10: Area in running for new plant: $30M project would create 40 Mid-Ohio Valley jobs

MARIETTA -- "Russ Craig, president and CEO of Fibrox Technology, announced Friday that the site, adjacent to Eramet on Ohio 7, is the frontrunner of several being considered for the company’s second facility. The other Fibrox facility is in Quebec... The facility would be environmentally conscious, said Craig, who has already met with local environmental watchdog groups Neighbors for Clean Air and RECOVER," Kate York, Marietta Times.

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A new plant will bring jobs to Washington County, Allison Rhea, WTAP.

Dec 6: Patience is not what the doctor ordered

Lesley Kuhl
Lesley Kuhl of Neighbors for Clean Air.
MARIETTA --"If it truly sought to protect citizens, the Ohio Department of Health would coordinate its 'real science' with Ohio EPA to determine health risks to Ohio citizens of airborne toxins before Ohio EPA issued Title V (large scale) air pollution permits. Instead of spending state and federal money on complex air monitoring studies and public health funds to research whether companies are poisoning Ohio citizens, Ohio could require industrial polluters to use their own research dollars to prove that a manufacturing process is safe before Ohio EPA issues a permit to operate. When she wrote her article, Dr. Meckstroth may not have realized that citizens in this community have already consulted various physicians, including neurotoxicologists specializing in metals toxicity. These doctors did not tell us to sit back and patiently wait while the government decides how much it can, or will do to help citizens, or if it will get involved at all," editorial by Lesley Kuhl of Neighbors for Clean Air, The Marietta Register.

MARIETTA -- Eramet air permit expires amidst uncertainties, Tom Lotshaw, The Marietta Register.

Nov 21: Eramet stink diary - 61 smell episodes in 2007

dear diary MARIETTA -- "I have kept a "stink diary" since 1998 when I bought a home and twelve acres of land in Pinehurst, a small rural community west of Marietta, Ohio. The odors are strong enough to wake me from a sound sleep: November 2007 Stink Diary Summary: (3 days, so far)Wednesday, November 7 – 10:30 pm. Coming back from Athens in front of Eramet, Thick, toxic fog.Monday, November 19 – 7:00 pm, walking dog, could see haze and smell odor, Tuesday, November 20 – terrible headache all day. Warm night, went to open window @ 9:00 pm AWFUL, thick smell. Haze over valley all day. As of November 21, 2007 – we have experienced 61 smell episodes in 2007," Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

Nov 20: Kids' drawings for Eramet Marietta

Nov 15: Environmental justice becoming hotter topic in southeast Ohio

"They're scared of us," Melissa English of Ohio Citizen Action said about Eramet.
MARIETTA -- "Establishing a running dialogue with polluting industries is not always easy, however, as residents of Washington County, Ohio, discovered in trying to work with Eramet, a French-owned metallurgical company that emits odors and heavy-metal particulates, particularly manganese. According to the film "Eramet Marietta Neighbors Speak Out," the Neighbors for Clean Air group in Marietta, part of Ohio Citizen Action, has been battling Eramet pollution for over a decade. This group is looking into how these releases impact brain development and intelligence, particularly in children, since neurotoxin exposure in the Marietta area is significantly higher than in other regions. Their grassroots campaign is attempting to get the facility to meet the community's standards for clean air and clean water, thought the group claims that Eramet won't talk to them," Stephanie Laird, Athens News.

Nov 12: Wild and Scenic Enviro Film Festival opens in Marietta on Saturday

MARIETTA -- "The largest environmental film festival in North America is coming to Marietta. Together the Neighbors for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action are set to host the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour at McDonough Auditorium at Marietta College on Saturday, November 17th beginning at 4pm. The Film Festival brings together award-winning environmental films in a spirit of inspiration and education. The films cover a wide variety of topics and vary in length and style, but all strive toward bringing awareness to the natural world and humanity's role in a delicately balanced equation," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Nov 10: Viewpoint: Patience needs as collecting air data will take time and skill

MARIETTA -- "This air monitoring data will be reviewed by the public health and environmental protection agencies to determine the necessity and feasibility of the proposed health study. Perhaps for some it may seem like it has taken a long time to get to the phase we are at today with our community exposure to manganese, but I ask for your patience as we gather the extremely important exposure data that will allow us to fully demonstrate the level of exposure to manganese in the community and produce a science-based study that the agencies will be able to support and the community will be able to trust," Kathleen L. Meckstroth, Washington Co Health Department, Marietta Times.

Nov 7: Film Festivals in Marietta

film festival

MARIETTA -- "Also on November 17, the Patagonia-sponsored Environmental Film Festival On Tour will be held at Marietta College’s McDonough Auditorium at 4 p.m. Hosted by the Neighbors for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action, the festival will feature 10 short environmental films, including Eramet: Marietta Neighbors Speak Out, which was produced by the hosts of the evening. Called the largest environmental film festival in North America, the festival offers award-winning films that both inspire and educate. The topics range from community activism and farming to the true cost of average food choices," James Maddox, Marietta Register.

Nov 6: Kid's drawings for Eramet Marietta

Nov 2: Allo Eramet!  Il y a 42,843 personnes qui ont quelque chose â vous dire.
translation: Hey Eramet! 42,843 people have something to say to you.

2007 photo

Neighbors for Clean Air and Ohio Citizen Action have collected 42,843 letters from Ohio Citizen Action members asking Eramet to clean up. Here are some of the people who helped. Bottom front row -- Liz Floyd, Bethany Norris. Bottom row kneeling-- Paul Ryder, Jason Danklefsen, Pete Cunningham, Rachael Belz, Crystal Cottrill, Toni Brock. Middle row: Jessica Spencer, Kat Boone, Lea Vaessin, Alison Baker, Jessica Metcalf, Kendra Ulrich, Steve Hruby, Matt McNamara, Chris Cox. Back row: Curt Moultine, Zachary DePompei, Brian Theide, Melissa English, Liz Ilg, Leontien Kennedy, Sarah Von Alt, Sara Woodson, Walt Sullivan, and Michael Stone.

Oct 30: Candidates go on record for clean air in Marietta

MARIETTA -- "Regional Coalition for Ohio Valley Environmental Restoration (RECOVER), a local environmental group, held an environmental forum for city council candidates on October 23rd. Thirteen candidates answered questions on topics ranging from air quality to green space and recycling. Eight of the thirteen candidates said they would support a council resolution urging Eramet to meet with Neighbors for Clean Air," Melissa English, Cincinnati Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action.

Oct 25: Manganese Study

Dr. Erin Haynes
Dr. Erin Haynes
MARIETTA -- "Doctor Erin Haynes from the University of Cincinnati conducted a study on Mid-Ohio Valley residents last year. Tonight she presented those preliminary findings at Washington State Community College. Researchers say the presence of manganese isn't the problem--it's in many of the foods we eat and products we use. They say the concern comes when the chemical is inhaled and Doctor Haynes is trying to prove just how harmful it is. Doctor Haynes says her preliminary research indicates manganese may be the culprit for many adverse health effects in the area and is using her preliminary data to apply for a federal community based large-scale research grant to study the neurological effects of manganese exposure in children," Courtney Rochon, WTAP.

MARIETTA -- Proposed local manganese study discussed, Roger Adkins, Marietta Times.

Oct 24: Marietta to host national touring environmental film festival

MARIETTA -- "Our next project is to publicly screen the documentary we made earlier this year throughout southeast Ohio. Please join us for one of the following two events: Wednesday, November 7 at 7pm, Baker Center, Ohio University, Athens. Our documentary, 'Eramet Marietta Neighbors Speak Out' will be screened. This is a free event, sponsored by the Sierra Student Coalition. For more information, call Loraine McCosker at 740-593-0434 or email. Saturday, November 17th, 4pm, McDonough Auditorium, Marietta College, Marietta. Patagonia presents the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour, hosted by Ohio Citizen Action and Neighbors for Clean Air.  Features nine award winning environmental short films from around the world, plus the Eramet documentary. Several area environmental groups will be on hand to share information about their efforts and there will be a raffle of some great items," Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action.

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Oct 23: Officials warn of Eramet emissions

MARIETTA -- "Officials with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department want residents to be aware of the potential dangers of manganese in the air coming from a Washington County plant. A meeting will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday at Graham Auditorium at Washington State Community College in Marietta where officials will discuss the dangers of manganese and health concerns as well as preliminary findings on tests that have been conducted, said Erin Haynes of the University of Cincinnati, who will present findings during the public forum. '‘This issue will show why we may need to do additional research,' Haynes said," Brett Dunlap, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Oct 22: Letter to area mayors
"I want to update you on some news that will be of great interest to you as it concerns you and everyone in your community"

MARIETTA -- "Neighbors for Clean Air is actively working on a Good Neighbor campaign with Eramet Marietta. For the past 19 months we have been educating the public about the emissions from Eramet and the potential health effects from the neurotoxins released at the plant. Our goal continues to be to work with the company decision-makers and convince them to commit to running a cleaner, more efficient operation and to update their antiquated equipment. These changes would reduce the loss of product into the community, clean up our air and ensure jobs at the factory well into the future," letter to Mayor Jean Ford of Williamstown, WV, Mayor Robert Newell of Parkersburg, WV, Mayor David Nohe of Vienna, WV and city council members, Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air. 340 KB doc.

balance test
A University of Cincinnati researcher demonstrates equipment used to measure balance.
Oct 17: UC Researcher talks manganese at WSCC

MARIETTA -- "Next week a researcher from the University of Cincinnati will speak at Washington State Community College about her study on manganese in local children. The presentation by epidemiologist Dr. Erin Haynes is open to the public. Washington State Community College is partnering with the University of Cincinnati to study the effects of manganese on children. The effort is the result of a sampling performed of 142 residents last fall that indicated elevated levels in the blood and hair of local people. Manganese emissions could pose the greatest harm to children, but the neurotoxin's effects on adult worker populations has been documented, as well," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Oct 15: Kids' drawings for Eramet, Marietta

Oct 12: All 200 Eramet signs posted

MARIETTA -- Not only did we meet our goal of finding great homes for our 200 “Eramet: Let’s Clear the Air” yard signs, we did so in less than half the time we anticipated. Thank you to all who contributed to get the signs made and to everyone who volunteered on the project, Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action.

the golden ruleOct 10: Thoughts on clean air, paying for influence

WILLIAMSTOWN -- The recent hassle over Neighbors for Clean Air reminds us once again of the golden rule. You remember the golden rule. Sure you do. The golden rule says that the people with the gold get to make the rules. They get to say who marches in the parade and who may hand out leaflets — maybe. As you know, the golden rule doesn’t just apply here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. It also applies nationally," J.P. McGovern, letter to the editor, Marietta Times.

Oct 1: Industries killing our residents

PARKERSBURG, WV -- "When is someone going to do something about the high cancer rate in the Mid-Ohio Valley? Industry has been the backbone of the economy of the Mid-Ohio Valley for over a century. It is also evident that that same industrial activity has now become the backbone of the growing cancer mortality rate in the area. Just look at the number of cancer patients that pass through our local hospitals on their way to a mortuary," Virginia Brabham, letter to the editor, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Sep 25: 200 yard signs in Marietta area by Election Day

MARIETTA -- "Neighbors for Clean Air kicked off a campaign to install 200 yard signs in Marietta, Vienna, Boaz, Williamstown and Parkersburg this past weekend. The signs, which bear the slogan ‘Eramet – Let’s Clear the Air’, were distributed first to members of the group and to people who had recently been contacted at their door by Ohio Citizen Action. As they began to appear throughout the area, more people began requesting them. ‘Already, we’ve distributed 89 signs,’ said Neighbors for Clean Air founder, Caroline Beidler. ‘The response has been so great, partly because more people learned about us when we were banned from carrying this same message in the Labor Day parade,’ she noted," Melissa English, Cincinnati Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action.

MARIETTA -- Eramet workers dedicated to improving plant safety, Steve Brown, president, United Steelworkers Local 1-00639, Marietta Times.

Sep 24: Clean air group blew fair response out of proportion

does it make sense? MARIETTA -- "What has really upset the clean air group is that the fair board has complete discretion to determine who may participate in the fair parade. Does it make any sense for the fair board to snub a major sponsor by allowing a group wholly opposed it? Who among you in business would think it appropriate to advertise one brand while selling another? Why should the fair board follow the same smart business practices as the private sector?," Staci Bland, letter to the editor, Marietta Times.

PARKERSBURG, WV -- Leave area plants alone, Kevin Steven Self, letter to the editor, Parkersburg News and Sentinel .

Sep 22: Partnership could mean $3M local study on manganese

MARIETTA -- "Manganese is emitted into local air by the Eramet plant on Ohio 7 outside Marietta, the only manganese refinery in the United States and Canada. Haynes said few studies have been done on the long-term health effects of the chemical and it can be hard to judge appropriate levels because trace amounts are needed in the human body. The level found in the blood of the 142 local residents last fall in Marietta was 9.2 micrograms per liter, compared to a level of 7.8 in Cincinnati... The next step, planned soon, is to do local air sampling, using six of the children from the initial research. The children will wear personal air monitors for two days and have monitors in their homes and outside," Kate York, Marietta Times.

Sep 19: Ruling this year could shrink ’08’s county fair parade

Keith Bailey and Caroline Beidler of Neighbors for Clean Air watch as the parade passes.

MARIETTA -- "I love a parade! That is why I’m afraid that next year’s annual fair parade will be greatly diminished due to the unfortunate decision by Steve Tornes and the fair board to bar Neighbors for Clean Air... The fair board has a problem with groups that may be deemed controversial or have an opinion to express. Many civic organizations have opinions on how to improve the community, church denominations have creeds, and political parties have platform statements. Even the Boy Scouts have stirred up controversy at times. Guess those groups will be given the thumbs down," Debra Miller, letter to the editor, Marietta Times.

Sep 18: Manganese levels unexpectedly high in Vienna, Boaz

MARIETTA -- "More than three months of data have been collected, and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry is working to ensure that it’s quality data and representative of real emissions, Davis said. She explained that a full year of data would be needed to draw any conclusions. But, so far, unexpectedly higher levels of manganese have been found in the air in Vienna and Boaz. Those results have the ATSDR looking for a secondary source of manganese or fluctuations in wind direction to account for the elevations. The ATSDR is developing a website that will serve as an informational portal for the public," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Sep 17: Young neighbor of Eramet Marietta writes plant manager


MARIETTA -- "Dear Mr. Frank Bjorklund, I would like to ask you to stop dumping manganese into our river and air system... I had to write an autobiography, and in my hopes and dreams I said I hope for people to stop polluting the air. So if you would be somebody to help me I would be forever grateful," letter from Kesea to Eramet Marietta plant manager Frank Bjorklund.

Sep 14: Eramet postpones silicomanganese furnace rebuild to Q1 2008

Eramet Marietta tower NEW YORK, NY -- "Eramet Marietta has postponed a planned rebuild of its silicomanganese furnace at its Marietta, Ohio, plant to the latter half of the first quarter of 2008, a senior official at the company told Platts Thursday. Eramet had planned to take the furnace down in November of this year to reline it but has decided to push back the time frame in order to build a large enough inventory of silicomanganese to meet its contractual obligations, Bob Burdette, president and CEO of Eramet North America, said," Platts News.

Sep 12: Kids' drawings for Eramet

Sep 10: An open letter to the Neighbors for Clean Air

Neighbors for Clean Air
Neighbors for Clean Air hold a banner and wear t-shirts that read, "Eramet: Let's Clear the Air." They were not permitted to march in the Labor Day Parade in Marietta.

MARIETTA -- "The final straw was the outrageous statement made by Mr. Tornes that the Board has a long-standing policy of not allowing political or controversial messages at the fair or parade.   Apparently the phrase "that differs from their own opinion" is missing from Mr. Tornes statement.  Mr. Tornes even admitted that he did not know what the tee shirts said, so I can only presume he is against the very idea of clean air.   And does he really think that asking Eramet to help clean up their emissions is more controversial than the issue of abortion?  To say that the issue of abortion is not controversial is ludicrous, yet I'm sure I saw a vehicle slathered with right to life slogans driving right down the street in the middle of a parade where controversial messages are not allowed (or, as more recent articles report, forms of protest)," Mike Bailey, letter to Neighbors for Clean Air.

MARIETTA - Dispute may alter future fair parades, editorial, Marietta Times. Originally published September 5, 2007. (187 k jpg

Sep 6: Fair Board decision doesn't reflect values

MARIETTA -- "This past weekend the Fair Board voted to have ‘Neighbors for Clean Air’ barred from walking in the Washington County Fair Parade at Eramet’s request. I am having a hard time believing that the Washington County Fair Board, an organization that is supposed to embody the values of local agriculture and 4-H, has voted to ban an organization from their parade whose sole purpose is to promote a cleaner environment for the future generations who will be showing their projects at the Washington County Fair this weekend," Barb, Neighbors for Clean Air.

MARIETTA -- Editorial, "The bad blood and bad feeling generated by the late-night decision of the fair board, in a vote which we are told was unanimous, to exclude a part of the community from the parade has done nothing more than divide what should be united: our home and community," Marietta Register.

Sep 5: History in the making

Florence Beidler
MARIETTA -- "Neighbors for Clean Air has the distinction of being the first group of local citizens and taxpayers ever to be denied the right to walk in a community parade on Labor Day... For those of you who do not know us we are your neighbors, and our only goal is to clean up the air making it possible for us to remain healthy so that we can enjoy the beauty of our valley. Members of our group walked the picket line when Eramet shut out their workers, and we had a food drive for the locked out workers when Eramet held out on them, and their funds where running low. That is who Eramet is, and this is who we are. This is not a covert operation. All we want to do is to deliver clean air that is free of pollutants," Florence Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

MARIETTA -- Clean air group upset about fair parade ruling, Kate York, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- Neighbors want an apology, Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Sep 2: "Fair" Play?

MARIETTA -- "There could be some changes next year in the Washington County Fair's first event every year. That's because one group which is upset at being excluded from Saturday's fair parade. The group Neighbors for Clean Air planned to march in the call attention to its efforts to convince Eramet to reduce its emissions at its route 7 plant. But members of the organization told us that, after it was initially given permission, the group was told it could not take part in the parade. Fair Board President Steve Tornes says that's because the board has a long-standing policy of not allowing political or controversial messages at the fair or the parade," Todd Baucher, WTAP News.

Sep 1: Families Denied Opportunity to March for Clean Air

Eramet MariettaMARIETTA -- "Members of the local group, Neighbors for Clean Air, planned to march in the annual Labor Day parade today to spread awareness of their campaign to convince Eramet Marietta Inc. to cut pollution and eliminate odors from their Route 7 facility. Those plans were altered some due to a phone call placed to Caroline Beidler of Neighbors for Clean Air at 9:45 p.m. Friday night from Kristi Zimmer of the Washington County Fair Board. Beidler was told that the Neighbors for Clean Air group was not allowed to participate in the parade. Zimmer explained that Eramet, a sponsor of the Washington County Fair, had filed complaints about the Neighbors walking in the parade forced the Fair Board to vote and that that the decision was to ban the group from the parade.

NCA instead met at 313 Ohio Street, by the invitation of NCA member, Dianne Vezza. Adults and children sported matching blue t-shirts emblazoned with the message 'Eramet - Let’s clear the air.' They also distributed information about their organization, a health and information guide to manganese and a factsheet urging people to write letters to Eramet’s plant manager, Frank Bjorklund.

'Mr. Bjorklund and the other decision makers at Eramet need to know that this community is organized and united,' said Caroline Beidler, founder of Neighbors for Clean Air, a group that has also produced a short documentary, Eramet Marietta Neighbors Speak Out. We are also offering free yard signs to people who suffer from Eramet’s pollution so they can show their support for something that everyone in this community has a right to clean air,'" Caroline Beidler, Neighbors for Clean Air.

MARIETTA -- Fair Board Says Neighbors for Clean Air are Not Welcome. "For well over a century, a community parade has heralded the opening of the Washington County Fair. This is the first year a group has been asked not to participate. Less than 12 hours before the parade lineup was to begin, the Neighbors for Clean Air got a call from the fair board saying they were not welcome. 'We have never had an issue like this before,' said fair board president Steve Tornes. Tornes said the board received a 'heads-up' that the Neighbors were going to wear t-shirts and carry a banner in the parade. Tornes said although the complaint did not come directly from the company, fair sponsor Eramet had a problem with the Neighbors’ participation. So, the fair board voted to tell them not to walk in the parade," Callie Lyons, WMOA-AM News.

Aug 29: Young neighbors write Eramet

child's drawing

MARIETTA -- "Dear Mr. Frank Bjorklund, My Mom and Dad have told me about your new position as a plant manager. I hope that the kids near the plant stay healthy. Please do everything you can to make sure our air and water are safe," Leah, resident of Marietta.

Aug 22: Letters to Eramet

MARIETTA -- Canvassers in Marietta, Ohio and Vienna and Boaz, West Virginia report tremendous response to their door-to-door organizing, education and letter writing campaign to urge Eramet Marietta Inc. to clean up and be a good neighbor. In just twelve days of canvassing, 246 new members joined Ohio Citizen Action in Marietta and 185 people wrote personal letters to plant manager Frank Bjorklund.

More kids' drawings, letters, and canvasser stories

Aug 3: Cooperation the key to dealing with pollution

MARIETTA -- "If we did not intend to stay in Marietta, if we did not value its many assets, we would simply move elsewhere, as some of our friends have done. Finally, Ohio Citizen Action is working in Marietta at our invitation. Throughout the summer it will be knocking on doors in the Mid-Ohio Valley to talk with area residents about our campaign with Eramet. For the record, they also are not going away. Not until Eramet makes the changes and builds the relationships that will improve our health and quality of life here. Like any group of neighbors, we can choose to behave fearfully and antagonistically, or we can begin from our common ground and work together to solve our differences," John Whistler and Barbara Stewart, letter to the editor, Marietta Times.

MARIETTA -- EPA reports no violations resulted from Eramet spill, Evan Bevins, Marietta Times.

Aug 2: 35,245 write to Eramet to clean up

MARIETTA -- "As of today, 35,245 people from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia have written to Eramet, urging them to stop polluting the air and Ohio River. The French-owned company operates a manganese refinery in Marietta, Ohio and reported dumping 428,900 lbs. of manganese into the region's air and the Ohio River in 2005, the most recent year for which records are available. Some of the letters included pictures drawn by children, who are especially susceptible to neurotoxins like manganese," Melissa English, Cincinnati Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action.

Jul 31: Accident at Eramet shuts down Furnace #18
“…5 thousand pounds of molten metal erupted from the ladle.”

Eramet Marietta map

MARIETTA -- "At 08:53 this morning on 7/23/07, the reaction ladle was being pulled from the MOR [Manganese Oxygen Refining] station at the end of a heat when the molten metal began a reaction,’ according to a July 23 report by John Hughes, Environmental Engineer at Eramet Marietta, to the Ohio EPA.  Mr. Hughes further reported, ‘The cause of the reaction is unknown, but the first thought of water leaking into the molten metal does not appear to have caused the reaction. An investigation will be conducted. The reaction resulted in approximately 5 thousand pounds of molten metal erupting from the ladle. The excess fuming of MN304 was approximately 5 to 8 minutes causing a cloud of visible emissions above building #36 that houses the MOR process and Furnace #18. The process will be shut down until the necessary repairs have been completed," Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action.

PARKERSBURG, WV -- Program puts mussels back in river, Jake Stump, Charleston Daily Mail.

Jul 30: Marietta resident will speak to EPA about manganese levels

Dick Wittberg
Dick Wittberg
MARIETTA -- "From the air model, we can see that there are households that are being exposed to over 50 times that 0.05 level. There are communities like Boaz that are being exposed to 10 times that level. As I said before, Marietta and Williamstown, Vienna and Devola are all being exposed to twice what’s considered to be the safe amount. Is that too much, I don’t know. Nobody really knows for sure but another key piece of evidence is there’s been a study that’s been done in Mexico that show neurological differences in adults that have been exposed to 0.01 and higher. And everybody knows that when it comes to neurotoxins, children are more susceptible,'" Tim Brust, Marietta Times.

Jul 26: U of C researcher reveals study findings

MARIETTA -- "This week we've been talking with Dr. Erin Haynes of the University of Cincinnati, a researcher who taking a look at metals exposure in local people...Haynes said it's the manganese that's the greatest concern because of health impacts observed in other, less contaminated populations. 'I'll refer back to the study in southeast Quebec,' Haynes said. 'They looked at the community members who had been exposed previously to this ferroalloy plant. And, their blood value was somewhere in the sevens. And, they did find effects. Here our value seems to be higher than that. So I'm really looking forward to doing a larger study,'" Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Jul 25: Airborne manganese levels assessed: Study focusing on Eramet area viewed as a tool for scientists

MARIETTA -- "Airborne manganese levels within a five-mile radius of the Eramet Marietta industrial complex register two to 60 times higher than the U.S. EPA health standard, according to an Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry document published last month... The emission levels reported last month are an average that was taken over an extended period of time, said Melissa English, program director at Ohio Citizen Action. 'What does it mean? We don’t know yet,' English said. 'But we are learning more and more about health effects associated with manganese exposure. Some studies show symptoms in adults that are similar to Parkinson’s disease,'" Brad Bauer, Marietta Times.

Jul 24: University of Cincinnati researcher: ATSDR consultation reveals elevated manganese exposure

MARIETTA -- "Last week, your WMOA news team told you about a health consultation performed by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. The report released last month found that airborne manganese levels within a five mile radius of Eramet are measured at two to 60 times higher than the health standard set forth by the EPA. Dr Erin Haynes is a researcher from the University of Cincinnati who has initiated a pilot study to examine manganese exposure in local people. She says the health consultation records important benchmarks for local air exposure" Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Jul 18: Parkinson's, factory air pollution linked

PET scans of a normal subject (left) and a patient with Parkinson's disease (right). The difference reflects the loss of nerve cells.
MONTREAL, CANADA -- "A University of Toronto study has drawn a link between Parkinson's disease and the industry-generated pollutant manganese. The study, published in Environmental Research, suggests industry-generated pollutants pose a greater health risk than traffic-generated manganese. Murray Finkelstein, of the University of Toronto, compared the incidence of diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease with markers of exposure to vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions in the cities of Toronto and Hamilton. The study examined a cohort of 110,000 subjects over three years," United Press International.

Jul 17: Marietta Neighbors for Clean Air to advise U.S. EPA on manganese health standard

MARIETTA -- "Representatives of Marietta’s Neighbors for Clean Air will travel with Dr. Erin Haynes of the University of Cincinnati to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina on August 6th, 2007 to meet with U.S. EPA staff who are assessing the health standard for public exposure to manganese... Dave Guinnup of U.S. EPA, invited members of Neighbors for Clean Air to meet him because of their expertise and their personal stake in enforcing the standard at the fence line," Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action.

Jul 13: Eramet Marietta's "Furnace 3 Project"

MARIETTA -- "Recently, Neighbors for Clean Air discovered that in 2002 Eramet applied for a permit to build a closed design furnace, calling it 'Furnace 3 Project.' According to the permit application, Furnace 3 Project would replace older, dirtier furnaces #12 and #18 and the manganese oxygen refining process. These areas are the major sources of airborne manganese leaks from the plant. This document proves Eramet once had a plan to update the plant to reduce pollution -a goal shared by Neighbors for Clean Air. Why didn't it move beyond the planning stage?," Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action. (98.3 MB pdf)

Jul 12: Marietta has two to sixty times more manganese than federal health standard

MARIETTA -- "Airborne manganese levels in a five-mile radius of the Eramet Marietta facility register two to sixty times higher than the U.S. EPA health standard, according to an Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry document dated June 18, 2007 entitled 'Health Consultation.' Residents within two miles of the fenceline and workers are exposed to at least ten times the manganese deemed safe by U.S. EPA," Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action.

Jul 11: Dr. Erin Haynes speaks about manganese pollution

CINCINNATI -- "On Thursday, June 28th, Dr. Erin Haynes of the University of Cincinnati spoke to Ohio Citizen Action's staff about the health effects of manganese. Dr. Haynes has been recruiting area residents to participate in a survey about air pollution, and is planning a larger study of manganese exposure in the area. Marietta’s Eramet facility is the leading manganese refinery in the United States and Canada," Ohio Citizen Action.

Jul 10: Marietta Memorial Hospital receives grant from Governor’s office

MARIETTA -- "Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Strecker Cancer Center received a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission Monday. Fred Deel, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia; Ohio Rep. Jennifer Garrison, D-Marietta; and other state and local officials visited the hospital Monday to present the funding, which will be used toward the purchase of a new linear accelerator. Of 88 Ohio counties, Washington ranks 11th in cancer incidence, higher than both state and U.S. averages. Every year since opening in 1993, patient treatment volumes at the Strecker Cancer Center have surpassed projections," Marietta Times.

Jul 2: Love Canal activist hosts Ohio Environmental Justice Forum

Flo, Lois and Caroline
Florence Beidler, Lois Gibbs and Caroline Beidler.

ATHENS -- "This weekend more than 100 people from Southeast Ohio gathered in Athens for an Environmental Justice Forum with Lois Gibbs, an activist best known for her role in organizing residents at the Love Canal. Her efforts and those of her community lead President Jimmy Carter to initiate the Superfund program. On Saturday, she asked those in attendance to take an active role in drafting environmental justice legislation. It's the fourth stop in Ohio for the Center for Health Environment and Justice, a Washington DC based organization that she founded to help communities combat industrial pollution," Callie Lyons, WMOA.

Older Eramet news Jan 2007 - Jun 2007, 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