by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Owens Ground Water Contamination Spurs Public Hearings

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protections has accepted the site of the former Owens Illinois plant in Huntington into a voluntary remediation program. One of the last steps , according to a City of Huntington notice, will be restricting drilling of water wells at some locations in the city.

Public meetings have been scheduled for questions:

October 5 (Thursday), St. Paul Lutheran Church, 721 12th Avenue, 7-7:30 p.m.

October 12 (Thursday), Huntington Federal Credit Union (rear), 481 W. 8th Avenue, 1-2 p.m.

October 19 (Thursday), Central United Methodist Church, 1043 Jefferson Avenue, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The Owens site --- which is next to the former Houdaille plant --- has been accepted into a voluntary remediation program. Special Metals has also been accepted into the program.

The Owens site has been identified for asbestos contamination.

Blueprints, diagrams, invoices from asbestos product manufacturers, revealing company memos demonstrating their knowledge of the risks, asbestos product packaging through the years, depositions from leading experts, depositions of other asbestos victims throughout West Virginia and medical and scientific literature dating from the late 1800s to the current day.

On a separate ground water related matter, hearings and discussions continue in Piketon, Ohio , over a plan to build a waste cell underground for storage of plutonium and other radioactive materials.

Since 1979 contaminated portions of the Huntington Pilot Plant have been buried there in a 'classified' landfill. Documents indicate that some pollutants have leached into a nearby creek and the Scioto River.

The waste cell would be over the Teays Aquifer which runs through Huntington below ground.

 ED NOTE: The Owens site has been identified for asbestos contamination.
Go to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for more information on asbestos and mesothelioma.