The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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April 20, 2013

Detrek Corp. rents device to destroy odor

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Detrex/Elco Corp. is under fire again for air pollution, with neighbors complaining of a strong odor.

Complaints and concerns of a cat urine smell were received this week and last week by Ashtabula city and township fire departments, as well as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

“There has been off and on again odor problems,” said Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio EPA. “On March 12 the EPA sent Detrex a violation letter, citing an odor nuisance.”

In response, Detrex, 1100 State Road, is renting a thermal oxidizer, or a thermal incinerator, which is a combustion device that decomposes hazardous gases at a high temperature and releases them into the atmosphere.

“If it works, they will buy it,” Settles said.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Detrex has had problems with air pollution in the past. In the spring of 2010, and summer 2011, complaints of a similar smell were reported throughout Ashtabula Township and the city. After much investigation, Detrex/Elco Corp., was issued a notice of violation.

Since that time, EPA inspectors from Columbus traveled to Ashtabula to check on the air quality of chemical plants in the Middle Road/State Road area.

“If people detect an odor, 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.

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