An informational meeting will be held Monday in Marietta regarding cleanup efforts at the former Cytec Industries plant at 1405 Greene St.
Those who have expressed concern or have questions about a draft hazardous permit modification will be heard at the meeting planned for 6 p.m. at the Lafayette Hotel, where the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is expected to have representatives on hand.
One of those who will be attending the meeting is Karen Jones, a Norwood area resident, who owns property along Van Bergen Avenue near the Cytec site.
"I have about 12 years worth of questions (for the Ohio EPA)," she said. "I feel like it is a shame what they have done - the EPA and Cytec."
Jones expressed concern for her neighbors, many of whom are elderly, and for her own health problems.
"I have been ill from it. I can't breathe and feel like I am having a heart attack," she said.
If you go
What: Informational session with Ohio EPA on Cytec draft permit modification and cleanup.
When: 6 p.m. Monday.
Where: The Lafayette Hotel.
View copies of the draft permit modification at: The Washington County Public Library, 615 Fifth St., Marietta or at www.epa.ohio.gov.
Written comments accepted at:
Ohio EPA, Division of Materials and Waste Management, Processing and Records Management Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216 or emailed to DMWMcomments@epa.state.oh.gov
In 2004 the Ohio EPA issued a Cytec a hazardous waste permit requiring the company to clean up contamination at the site, a former specialty chemical plant. Since then, two chemical storage ponds have been cleaned and capped, several landfills and disposal areas excavated and some contaminated soil and piping was removed.
Jones, a member of a focus group formed in October 2011, said that the efforts aren't enough.
"I want total removal (of hazardous material)," she said. "What I want to see accomplished (from Monday's meeting) is that I hope the permit to do slurry is denied and that someone other than Cytec will do the testing and reporting from now on."
Mike Settles, a spokesman for the Ohio EPA, said it isn't unusual that the company would do the work themselves since they are required to hire environmental professionals and are overseen by the agency. But he said he hopes issues such as this one are raised at Monday's meeting.
"The meeting will include a more informal informational session and the public hearing portion will be more formal with a record keeper and we will be taking testimony and comments. This would be a good time to bring up questions like this," he said.
After the meeting the comments will be carefully considered, according to Settles, and may affect the outcome of the permit.
"We will see, if after hearing from the public, the Ohio EPA's preferred alternatives need to be tweaked or changed and then we will issue the final permit to Cytec so that they may proceed with cleanup," he said.
The permit, if issued, would authorize Cytec to address soil and ground contamination at specific areas of the 55-acre industrial site according to the Ohio EPA's proposed remedies to protect human health and the environment.
The Ohio EPA held meetings in 2010 and 2011 to answer the public's questions about cleanup measures at other areas of the site. The agency is seeking input on groundwater conditions at a landfill on the site, Duck Creek, the east storage pad, concrete tank saddles and drainage swale.
Some city officials had previously sought to block the permit, saying that more needed to be done to bring the site back to Brownfield status - safe enough for future industrial development.
"We have no idea exactly what's in there," said Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward. "It could take years for something to rear its ugly head and we don't want to discover major problems down the road."
Kalter said the proposed cost to cap the landfill in question would be $1 million. The cost of removal of the 28,000 cubic yards of contaminated area would be $30 million.
He said he encourages residents of Marietta and the 1st Ward specifically to attend the meeting, write letters or email.
"They need to make their voices heard now," he said.
For residents like Jones, there would be no possible way that the area would ever be safe enough.
"Business can come back to the area ... in about a million years," she said.