The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 16, 2013

Signs at Ashtabula Township's ESAB are standard procedure

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Warning signs posted on the fence of the former ESAB Welding and Cutting Products plant on Middle Road are standard operating procedure for a former industrial facility undergoing decommissioning.

The signs warn “This facility contains or is contaminated with regulated substances that may endanger public health or safety if released to the environment.” Ashtabula Township Fire Department Chief Michael Fitchet says the signs have been up since June 2012.

The plant ceased its operations in July 2012 after relocating the production facility to South Carolina. About 120 jobs were lost. The plant made welding wire; in the 1950s, the site briefly hosted a titanium plant, as well.

Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said ESAB was following the agency’s cessation of regulated operations (CRO) program when it posted the signs. He said the signs must remain posted while any regulated substances are being removed from the plant.

“They have to post that warning sign until the property has been cleared by the EPA,” he said.

The signs ought not be taken as an indication of radiation or other human health hazards remaining at the site. Settles said clean-up work has been ongoing at the plant and a walk-through inspection was conducted there on Dec. 20.

“They still had some things to do in there,” he said.

Among the potentially dangerous substances remaining in the plant were refrigerators containing refrigerants, oil-based paint and refractory brick.

“The big stuff that would have been associated with an old industrial complex has been removed,” Settles said.

He said one of the reasons the signs are required is that youngsters and vandals often target the abandoned sites and sometimes release dangerous chemicals or get injured in the process. The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department investigated several weeks ago an incident of a stainless steel tank and lockers missing from the facility.

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body