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Thursday, 14 November 2013 07:48

Ohio EPA objects to Ormet Corp. closure

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Environmental watch-dog cites potential contamination risks


MONROE COUNTY, Ohio -- Amidst efforts to save the jobs of nearly 1,000 laid-off Ormet Corp. workers, Ohio's environmental watch-dog is fighting the plant's shutdown for a different reason.
Earlier this month, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency filed an objection against the shutdown of the Hannibal plant because of the problems it could pose to the environment. In the past, the soil around the Ormet site was contaminated with cyanide and fluoride.
In 2010, Ormet and the Ohio EPA reached a $12,000 settlement in connection with pollution of the Ohio River between 2004 and 2009. Ormet since remedied the contamination with an electrically-powered pump system.
The objection filed by the Ohio EPA in United States Bankruptcy Court states the following: "Debtors must comply with applicable environmental laws just like any other owner of contaminated property. Cleanup obligations under environmental laws are not dischargeable in bankruptcy."
Ormet previously pointed to American Electric Power - which shut off power to the plant - as the culprit. AEP Ohio said it is not their obligation, but Ormet's, to deal with.

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