As 2009 begins I would like to extend my thanks to each of you for all of your support in our efforts to clean the air that we breathe.
Eramet Marietta's new CEO Frank Bjorklund's willingness to meet with us in 2008 was a turning point in our efforts.
Mr. Bjorklund's September announcement of a $150 million investment was exciting. Phase one of their planned investments included a total rebuild of Furnace #1. This was completed in 2008. Testing on rebuilt Furnace #1 has shown a 25% reduction in emissions from that furnace. A further reduction of 40% is projected when the baghouse is installed.
As of early December, in spite of a slowed global economy, we were assured that plans for new baghouse technology on Furnace #1 were still on track. Last week, due to the downturn in the economy, Eramet announced 110 layoffs at the Marietta plant. I was assured once again that the plans are not gone, just temporarily on hold.
We will continue to meet with the management team at Eramet, ask questions and monitor their changes and progress.
The University of Cincinnati's CARES (Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study) is underway. Testing on 7, 8 and 9 year olds in Washington County began in December. Air monitors have been placed in the Marietta area and in Cambridge, the control community. Cambridge schools have agreed to be a part of this important study. After the subjects are tested the Environmental Sampling Team will make a visit to each subject's home for interior dust and soil samples around the home. The information gathered will help children across the nation who are exposed to air pollution by helping to shape national environmental and public health policy. If you know someone with a 7, 8 or 9 year old child who has lived in Washington County their entire lives who may be interested in the study please have them call 516-3200 for more information.
2008 was a successful year for Neighbors for Clean Air. I wish you all a healthy 2009!
Neighbors for Clean Air
PO Box 295
Marietta, Ohio 45750