Marietta and Washington County


Marietta, where the Muskingum River, lower right, meets the Ohio River.
West Virginia is on the far side of the Ohio River.
For more information, contact Ohio Citizen Action board member Caroline Beidler.

Dr. Eric Fitch
Dr. Eric Fitch
Apr 13, 2005:  Impact of emissions on health a concern to many in county

MARIETTA -- "The number of total chemical releases in Washington County is increasing, but when it comes to how those chemicals affect human health, three specific chemicals are of concern, says a local environmental expert. Eric Fitch, director of environmental science at Marietta College, said he's most concerned about the prevalence of manganese, chromium and styrene because of their suspected health effects and their widespread exposure," Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.
May 25, 2004: Study: Area manganese levels merit more monitoring

Eramet Marietta, Inc.
MARIETTA -- "A federal agency has found levels of manganese in the air between Marietta and Belpre are higher than they should be, and it is recommending further investigation. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has been studying the levels of nine contaminants from factories along the Ohio River. Officials with the agency said computer models based on factory emissions, weather patterns and other factors indicate manganese levels warrant additional monitoring. Manganese is a metal and a necessary nutrient that is harmful to humans when large quantities find their way into the bloodstream. 'Manganese (has) mainly a central nervous system effect,' said Jennifer Freed, an environmental health scientist with ATSDR. Manganese is used in the manufacturing process at both Eramet and Eveready Battery," Tim Brust, Marietta Times.
May 22, 2004: Meeting a chance to hear update on pollution study

MARIETTA -- "Area residents will again have the chance to voice their concerns about area air pollution Monday during a meeting at Washington State Community College. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has set up a meeting to follow up on the air testing it's done in the area. Environmental health scientist Jennifer Freed said the goal of the meeting is to answer people's questions and let them know where the study is. 'We don't have any conclusions yet,' Freed said. 'We just wanted to share information on what we're doing,'" Jessica Burchard, Marietta Times.
May 6, 2004: Toxic emissions up in Washington County

MARIETTA -- "Washington County is holding steady as the third highest county in Ohio in toxic releases, after increasing 4 percent from the previous year. . . Vienna resident Connie Dray, 54, is distressed about the Washington County report even though she lives in Wood County, W.Va. 'We're across the river, but we're still the recipient of all this,' Dray said. She feels the toxic releases keep jobs from coming to the area and leads to people moving away because of the air quality. 'Someone needs to wake these people up that there's a problem," Dray said. "The wool is being pulled over their eyes in the interest of the economy and jobs,'" Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.
Dec 31, 2003: Readers voice views on Marietta's top priorities

Marietta from the river MARIETTA -- "Of the three recommendations readers picked as the most important, only the area's air quality ranked in the top five of the [Marietta Development Advisory Board's] recommendations. . . . Air quality wasn't always an issue for Gary Engnes, 65, of 3295 Warren Chapel Road, until it interfered with his fishing. The concern about the environment and its effect on health really hit home for him when he read a report recommending local fishermen only eat fish from local rivers once a month because of the mercury contained in the water. 'I never thought it'd come down to a point where it'd affect me personally, but now it's getting to affect everybody,' Engnes said. 'It's embarrassing, really.'. . . Mayor Michael Mullen, who was to be sworn into office today, said he supports the plan because he feels it's a good starting point for a long-term vision for the community," Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.
Dec 10, 2003:  Group holds session on Valley's air quality

MARIETTA -- "'There are whole streets where there's not a person that doesn't have asthma or some kind of breathing problem,' said Martha Doak, 46, of Marietta. 'That's not normal. We have to stop that somehow.' Marietta resident John Nash, 64, said he began having respiratory problems again last year after moving back to the Mid-Ohio Valley after 10 years away. 'You can see the haze that hangs over this place,' Nash said. 'And that's what we're breathing in. . . [Michelle Colledge, U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry regional representative] encouraged residents to keep an odor log if they are experiencing unusual odors in their homes. 'Write down the date, what the smell is and how long it remains,' Colledge said. 'That will help us,'" Kate York, Marietta Times.
Dec 8, 2003:  Air quality grows into a priority

CHARLESTON, WV -- "Marietta's PCB levels were tested in 2001 and 2002 by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Committee. In some instances their report showed Marietta samples were more than 10 times the readings of other sites, including highly industrialized areas of Pittsburgh, Weirton, W.Va., Moundsville, W.Va., Racine, Ohio, and Huntington, W.Va.," Justin McIntosh, Marietta Times.
Dec 6, 2003:  Our opinion: Citizens must act to improve air quality in Mid-Ohio Valley

MARIETTA -- "What is new is that citizens are finally taking positive action on the issue. Instead of just talking about the problem, citizen action is helping reduce the problem. That kind of citizen action is what is needed to make a change in the quality of the area's air," editorial, Marietta Times.
Dec 3, 2003: Federal toxic disease agency sets Dec 9 meetings on Marietta air pollution

Population density of children near a former Union Carbide complex, now occupied by Eramet Metals, Eveready Battery, Solvay, and Chevron Oil.
Population map
MARIETTA -- "The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry invites you to attend a Dec 9 community meeting, followed by a public availability session, to discuss air quality issues related to facilities operating at the former Union Carbide complex located on Route 7, in Washington County, Ohio. The meetings will be at the Community Room at Washington State Community College, 710 Colegate Drive, Marietta. The community meeting, 7:00 - 7:30 PM, is for the public at large, and allows the Agency to provide information to the community about our agency, our mission and goals, and our environmental health activities at the site. The public availability session, from 7:30 - 9:30 PM, is a more private meeting where Agency representatives are available to individually and confidentially discuss environmental and health concerns with community members," Jennifer Freed, Environmental Health Scientist, Debra Joseph, Health Communications Specialist, U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. For more information, call toll-free 1-888-422-8737.

MARIETTA -- Group seeks input about substances in area's air, Kate York, Marietta Times.
Sep 13, 2003:  Metals mixed in Valley's air may be a risk

MARIETTA -- "The study, completed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, recommends that further, long-term testing be done to determine potential risks for people who live in the area of Ohio 7 occupied by Eramet, Eveready Battery, Solvay and Chevron Oil. More than 500 people live within a one-mile radius of the facilities, with a residential area north of the plant and Marietta's location four miles northeast. The predominant wind direction in the area is northeast, making the city "downwind" of the companies. 'Available data suggests that metals in the air, particularly arsenic and manganese, could potentially pose a threat to residents close to the facilities of concern because they exceeded health-based screening values,' says the report, prepared primarily by Michelle Colledge, an environmental health scientist with the agency," Kate York, Marietta Times.
Aug 15, 2003:  Health consultation: Washington County, Ohio, air quality

MARIETTA -- "'Do levels of metals in air pose a health risk to area residents?' Available data suggest that metals in air, particularly arsenic and manganese (and to a lesser degree, chromium and cadmium) could potentially pose a threat to residents close to the facilities of concern because they exceeded health-based screenings values. However, at this time, the exposure is an indeterminate hazard (i.e., not enough information) because the locations for the air sampling data may not reflect the most highly exposed populations, and that data analysis has included a limited number of metals. As a result, the magnitude of exposures and the threat to public health is uncertain. Levels of particulates and volatile organic compounds are not present at concentrations of health concern at the current monitoring locations. However, no data are available to assess levels of these contaminants in areas closer to the industrial complex. Some contaminants that are likely to be present, given facility processes, have not been sampled for (such as ammonia and sulfuric acid)," Michelle A. Colledge, Jennifer A. Freed, Exposure Investigation and Consultation Branch, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.