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Published: Monday, 9/16/2002

Fayette to receive update on pollution

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FAYETTE, Ohio - For years, residents in this tiny Fulton County village have worried about potentially deadly chemicals seeping into wells from the site of a defunct automotive parts factory.

Tomorrow, they will be able to ask Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials about the agency's cleanup and testing related to the Fayette Tubular Products site.

“Everything we're getting from our test results now says the people are safe. We want to keep it that way,” said agency spokeswoman Heather Lauer.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be in the Gorham Fayette High School gym. So far, monitoring wells are still showing contaminants seeping from a concrete pit at the plant.

Officials are trying to figure out how to stop the vinyl chloride, a cancer-causing contaminant, and trichloroethylene, known as TCE, from spreading. Additional monitoring wells will probably be built.

For 35 years, Fayette Tubular produced automotive air conditioning parts in its factory at Gamber and Railroad streets near Gorham Fayette Local Schools. “When the property was used for manufacturing, they used TCE, which was used as a fairly common degreaser. It was held in a concrete pit at the Fayette Tubular site. Over time, the pit cracked and the contaminant migrated,” Ms. Lauer said.

The Fulton County village draws water for its 1,340 residents from two community wells near the former plant and treats it with a sand filtration system.

Groundwater and treated water are tested quarterly by the EPA and the village. The company hired to determine where the contamination is coming from and how to get rid of it also tests the water monthly.

Test results indicate the treated water meets the Federal Clean Water Act requirements and is considered safe. But the level of TCE found in a well neighboring the Fayette Gorham High School is showing high concentrations of the chemical.

Toledo businessman Frank Roach of The Roach Group now owns the building. A portion of the building is used as a warehouse. Another part houses Premier Industry, a small, light-assembly plant.



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