AMP-Ohio smokestack demolition Saturday

One of the most visible remnants of American Municipal Power’s non-defunct Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station will be get an explosive send off Saturday morning.

A towering smokestack will be toppled over using strategically placed explosives, said Kent Carson, senior director of media relations at AMP.

“Hopefully there will be minimal impact for residents. It’s my understanding that a portion of Route 7 will be closed for a short period of time,” said Carson.

The plant is located on Ohio 7 between Marietta and Belpre across from Eramet-Marietta.

The road is expected to be closed between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

The smoke stack will fall away from the road and will stay entirely within the confines of AMP property, said Carson.

AMP closed the facility Dec. 15, 2010 as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Justice Department, who had filed suit against the plant in April 2009 for violation the Clean Air Act.

The plant employed around 80 full-time employees when it closed, said Carson.

Some of those employees retired and many were given the opportunity to participate in training programs for other jobs, he added.

The process of demolishing the plant started last year and is being conducted by Brandenburg Industrial Services.

What will become of the 51 acre property has not yet been decided, said Carson.

“We’re looking at what the site could be used for down the road,” he said.