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Published: Sunday, 12/12/2010

Lima chemical plant seeks OK to use deep well

LIMA,Ohio — INEOS USA LLC is seeking state approval to keep injecting waste from its chemical manufacturing plant in Lima, Ohio, more than a half-mile underground, one of the few places in the Midwest allowed to do so.

A public information session on the request is to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Apollo Career Center, 3325 Shawnee Road, just south of the Lima city limits.

It is to be followed by a public hearing at which comments will be taken.

INEOS USA, formerly BP Chemicals, is one of the world's largest suppliers of nitrile-based chemicals.

The chief product at its Lima facility is acrylonitrile, a raw ingredient used by other companies to make synthetic fibers and plastics for carpeting, clothing, drapery, upholstery, automotive equipment, sports equipment, toys, and desktop computers, as well as rubber in hoses and gaskets.

According to the company's Web site, the plant employs about 350 people. It has been injecting waste from the manufacturing process into a shaft 2,800 to 3,200 feet deep for years. The closest water to the injection site is buffered by 2,400 feet of shale and rock, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The company is seeking five-year permits for its four injection wells. About 200 million gallons of wastewater are injected into the four wells each year, the state agency said.

The wells also are permitted to receive wastewater from Fort Amanda Specialties, a nearby chemical manufacturing company, the Ohio EPA said.

Copies of the draft permits and related documents can be viewed at the Lima Public Library, 650 West Market St., as well as at the Ohio EPA's central office at 50 West Town St., Columbus, and the agency's northwest district office at 347 North Dunbridge Rd., Bowling Green. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 23.

Written statements may be mailed to the Ohio EPA's division of drinking and ground waters, to the attention of UIC Unit Supervisor, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, 43216-1049.

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