|Q: Where is the most dangerous air pollution in the country? A: Marietta,
Q: Who’s the biggest polluter in Marietta?
The ranking of Marietta as the #1
community for air pollution in the nation confirmed what local residents
have been saying for years. Neighbors of the Eramet metal refining plant
have complained of strong odors waking them up in the middle of the night,
along with nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, and headaches caused by reactions
to the pollution. Neighbors also describe a metallic taste in the back
of their throats and having gritty teeth when emissions from
the plant are high.
Eramet spews over 312,000 lbs of
manganese into the air each year.
Eramet dumps hundreds of thousands of pounds of chemicals each year into the Ohio River, including 129,600 pounds of manganese, 800,000 pounds of chromium, and 942,000 pounds of ammonia. The Ohio River provides drinking water for five million people.
The regions status as #1 in air pollution in the nation makes families want to leave the area and discourages new businesses from moving in. Neighbors of the Eramet plant have formed the Neighbors for Clean Air to work for healthy air and water. They want Eramet to be a good neighbor and change their operations to prevent toxic emissions.