The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 8, 2013

Bad smell resurfaces in Ashtabula Township

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Something stinks in Ashtabula Township — again.

Several complaints of a foul odor were received Thursday by Ashtabula city and township fire departments, as well as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

“We started getting calls overnight of a strong odor,” said Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio EPA. “It was described as a burnt sulfur or chemical smell.”

This isn’t the first time a mystery odor has been reported in Ashtabula Township. In the spring of 2010, and summer 2011, complaints of a similar odor were reported throughout Ashtabula Township and the city.  After much investigation, Detrex/ Elco Corp., 1100 State Road, was issued a notice of violation.

Thursday morning, EPA inspectors from Columbus traveled to Ashtabula to investigate the situation, first calling on local chemical plants in the Middle Road/State Road area to see if there had been any chemical releases.

There were none reported, he said.

Area firefighters were first called to East First Street and Maruba Street at 9:30 a.m. for an odor investigation, Fire Marshal Ron Deemer of the Ashtabula Fire Department said.

Ashtabula Township’s Assistant Fire Chief Tom Steele said they could not find the cause of the stink  or determine if it was dangerous to residents. That’s why the Ohio EPA was called in to assist, he said.

Firefighters continued to receive complaints throughout the day from folks in the neighborhood of State Road and Route 20, to Lake Avenue and Lake Shore Park, according to dispatcher reports.

“If people detect the odor, please call it in to the EPA hotline,” Settles said. “If they feel it is a health concern, they should remove themselves from the area and call the fire department.”

The Ohio EPA hotline for reporting odor complaints is (330) 963-1212.