The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Questions submitted regarding Ohio EPA cleanup plan 8.26.09

Written by David Green.

The comment period ended earlier this month for those responding to the Ohio EPA’s preferred clean-up plan for contamination from the former Fayette Tubular Products site.

The Ohio EPA will provide written responses at some time in the future before moving on to the next step.

Among the comments and questions sent to the agency were several from the Village of Fayette office and from the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce.

CATCH BASINS—A primary concern from the village related to extremely high levels of contaminants found in catch basins on the former Fayette Tubular Products property and also along a village street just west of the industrial site.

In addition, village workers recently observed ground water contaminated with  a substance while they were repairing a sewer line at Railroad and Gamber streets.

With documented and observed contamination, the Village asks how the EPA’s preferred plan addresses contamination adjacent to and within the village sewer system. Also, what measures are proposed to guard the health and welfare of village workers?

In addition, the agency is asked what evaluations were made during the investigative phase of the cleanup to eliminate the sewer system as a pathway for contaminants.

PROPERTY TO THE WEST—Another off-site concern focuses on contamination that was discovered in shallow ground water west of the factory.

The source of the contaminant was never identified and cleanup of this area is not included in the preferred plan.

The Village is seeking information on the Ohio EPA’s studies to determine the source. The Village also asked if the agency has tried to determine if there is any relationship between the sewer system—both on and off the factory site—and the contamination to the west.

In addition, questions were asked about the lack of standard contamination levels applied to the pollutants to the west, how the contamination is being monitored to ensure the safety of residents, and what type of restrictions, if any, will be put in place for use of the property.

WELL FIELD—The village expressed concern about monitoring vinyl chloride concentrations in the village’s old well field that is no longer in use. A question was also asked about the possibility of shallow ground water contamination reaching the former well field.

The source of that contamination was never discovered and recent data shows that it is still present.

ASSUMING—In the agency’s preferred plan, the phrase “it is assumed” is used occasionally in describing clean-up methods. The Village asks, “How confident is the Ohio EPA that the selected remedial alternative will be effective at reducing contamination to acceptable levels?”

ATTENUATION—The preferred plan lists “natural attenuation” as a clean-up method—allowing the contaminants to break down naturally over time.

In one alternative, 300 years is listed as the period of attenuation needed for shallow ground water to reach acceptable levels. However, the alternative chosen by the agency—the preferred plan—doesn’t mention an anticipated timeframe.

Additional questions address the possibility of contaminants moving underneath the existing trench that collects contaminated ground water, and concerns about continued monitoring of the plume of contamination as it continues to slowly move beyond the former school site.

CHAMBER—Questions submitted by the Chamber of Commerce include concerns about the property used by the Village for the park and the water treatment plant, as well as property downgradient from the plume but outside the village. The agency is asked if “institutional controls” governing use of the land are anticipated as the plume of contamination continues to move.

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