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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

EPA orders local plant to comply

By Janie Southard
St. Marys Foundry has received another notice from the Ohio EPA to comply with regulations. This time it's from the Division of Surface Water.
"Essentially, after we got the complaint about the (dump area behind the foundry), the surface water division decided to inspect the site also," said Dina Pierce, an EPA spokesperson located in Columbus, in a letter to the newspaper.
After inspection, it was determined the St. Marys company needs to obtain an industrial storm water permit relative to the sand piles located next to the Miami & Erie Canal. Storm water drains through the piles and into the canal, and the foundry needs to control that runoff, according to the EPA.
So far, the Ohio EPA has not observed any runoff into the canal, but we have not been there after a hard rain or snow melt, Pierce said. However, the inspector "felt the sand piles are close enough to the canal that there is likely some runoff," she wrote.
But, it doesn't really matter, she continued. Federal regulations require foundries to have industrial storm water general permits, which require control of water runoff.
The only runoff allowed is by specific type and specific amounts. The foundry currently has no permit so no runoff is allowed.
She added that as of May 26 there is no indication the Foundry intends to challenge the permit requirement. They have 30 days to apply, so there is another week before that time expires.
No one from the St. Marys Foundry returned calls requesting comments for this article.
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