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pollution prevention

Vigil for students at River Valley Schools


Governor's Mansion, Parkview and Maryland in Bexley
8:00 p.m., Monday, August 21

Directions in Columbus: Take I-71 to the Broad Street exit. Go east, away from downtown, on Broad Street, past the Franklin Conservatory in Bexley. Turn left on Parkview. The Mansion is on the right side at the corner of Parkview and Maryland.

When school resumes this month, River Valley Middle School and High School students in Marion, Ohio will be forced onto school grounds contaminated with deadly toxic chemicals, unless Governor Bob Taft does something immediately.

  • These schools were built on a site where the U.S. Army Marion Engineer Depot, the largest facility of its kind in the nation, dumped, burned and buried solvents, paints, fuel oil, and chemical agents for nearly two decades.
  • Seventy different chemicals have been found on or near the school campus, including arsenic, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, benzo(a)pyrene, chromium, lead, PCBs, and solvents. In 1999, the U.S. Army found an imminent threat to human health on Army Reserve property near the schools.
  • The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed a much-higher-than-expected rate of leukemia among River Valley graduates. The rate for esophageal cancer is ten times greater. Between 1966 and 1995, death rates from leukemia increased by 122% in the city of Marion, and brain cancer death rates increased by 40% in Marion County.

If a tornado roared through Marion and destroyed the River Valley Middle and High Schools, the state government would show up within hours to find a safe place for the children to learn. The River Valley Schools are just as uninhabitable, and the state government has spent years dragging its feet.

Join us to let Governor Taft know the people of Ohio care about these students and want him to close the schools and reassign the students to other schools immediately.

For information call Noreen Warnock, Ohio Citizen Action, (614) 263-4111.