Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Foundry faces violations of state water laws after Friday chemical release
By JUSTIN DENNIS
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency cited Induction Iron Inc. of Florida for leaking 250 gallons of sodium hydroxide from its Hendricks Road foundry into Mill Creek MetroParks waters Friday.
OEPA spokesperson Anthony Chenault said the agency delivered a notice of violation to the company Monday, but it was unknown if operators received the notice by the end of the work day. Induction Iron corporate representatives were unavailable for comment Monday.
An employee of the Austinown foundry at 3710 Hendricks Road, who did not provide his full name, said earlier Monday he was unaware of the citation and that it was “premature” to blame the company for the leak.
The chemical leaked into the Bear’s Den Run stream — turning it a milky white — and eventually flowed to Mill Creek. Youngstown wastewater officials and EPA investigators on Friday took samples of the cloudy water as Youngstown and Austintown fire officials tracked the contamination back to Induction Iron.
City health officials declined to comment on the chemical’s potential hazard, as concentrations recorded in the MetroParks stream Friday were not available Monday. The stream’s pH and dissolved oxygen levels fell within the EPA’s acceptable limits Friday, Chenault said.
Youngstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Silverio Caggiano said Friday he did not notice any fish deaths.
Caggiano said Friday the chemical leaked into storm drains from a crack in the foundry’s sanitary sewer lines and that operators were unaware of the leak. Chenault said the foundry’s sanitary line was improperly connected to the storm sewer off the property.
The OEPA notice cites violations of state water pollution and water quality standard laws by the foundry’s release of “untreated industrial waste water” into the stream, which is a tributary of the Mahoning River.
The notice mandates several initial abatements, including stoppage of additional releases of sodium hydroxide and cutting oils into the storm sewer; removal of waste and oil from the interior and exterior of the foundry building; removal of impacted water that had accumulated around the building; and discontinuation of waste water discharge into the sanitary sewer until “the integrity of the system is verified.”
Ohio Revised Code water pollution violations carry fines of up to $10,000 per day, according to the notice.