March 15, 2004

W. Roger Lyle, Plant manager
Sun Oil Toledo Refinery
1819 Woodville Road
Oregon, OH 43616

Dear Mr. Lyle:

Ohio Citizen Action agreed to participate in a 'neighbor task force' with the understanding that --
  • It would be an open process involving neighbors of the plant
  • You would provide information needed for a back and forth discussion
  • You were committed to identifying and making changes at the plant to reduce the pollution affecting the neighbors and workers
This hasn't been the case.

Sun Oil has excluded community member Anita LaPorte from membership of the task force. I have been told the reason is due to a lawsuit filed by Anita in the mid-1990's. After a few meetings, Anita dropped the lawsuit brought against Sun Oil. The statute of limitations is up. There is no conflict.

Many times in the past year -- most recently in phone conversations and emails with Olivia Summons, Karen Huber, Pete Hanley and yourself -- Ohio Citizen Action has asked for basic information about Sun Oil's pollution, the turnaround, how the plant works, changes the plant is considering to reduce pollution, and so on. Waiting for each monthly meeting, in which no information is provided ahead of time, and too little at the meeting, has been a waste of time.

Sun Oil has not committed to any changes to relieve the burden of your pollution reaching the community.

Under these circumstances, it is clear that this task force cannot produce constructive results. Accordingly, Ohio Citizen Action is withdrawing its membership in this group.

There is truth to what Ann Green has said, that this process is the same as the one we used at Cincinnati Specialties and Rohm & Haas. The difference, however, is that the companies involved made the commitments to change before the process began. Once that occurred, Ann helped the companies fulfill the commitments they had made to the community, specifically working with the company and the committee members on what the company was going to do to eliminate odors, reduce toxic air emissions, and so on. She was very effective at this, and the time was well spent.

If you would like to talk with the person from Rohm & Haas who worked with me to make the commitments to the community, please call Syd Havely in Rohm & Haas' Philadelphia corporate office. His number is 215-592-3938. Syd and I worked out the commitments between the company, Ohio Citizen Action and the community.

We are ready to have a constructive working relationship with Sun Oil, with open lines of communication and good-faith negotiations. Please call me in the Cincinnati office (513-221-2100) when you are ready to talk.

Sincerely,

Rachael Belz, Associate Director
Ohio Citizen Action