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Agency probes fish kill, cloud

September 4, 2014

Dead fish are seen Wednesday in Pusheta Creek west of Wapakoneta. Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency personnel continue to investigate a manure spill that is being blamed for the kill-off. (Photo provided)

Auglaize County’s Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Anderson addressed two main concerns during the bi-monthly Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting, held Wednesday morning at the Auglaize County Council on Aging in St. Marys.

Anderson began by addressing two spills, one of which he responded to Tuesday in Pusheta Creek.

“I just had one yesterday (Tuesday),” Anderson said. “It was a manure spill, a manure release that killed some fish.”

Anderson said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was out working on it.

“It’s a pretty good size fish kill going on right now out of that one,” Anderson said.

The other spill Anderson referenced during the meeting was the release of a product last week at AIP in Wapakoneta.

On Tuesday, Aug. 26, the EMA began investigating a report of sightings of a white cloud of gas coming from a plant in the industrial park on Willipie Street.

“I’m still investigating that one,” Anderson said. “I spent most of the day yesterday (Tuesday) doing some interviews and trying to find out exactly what had happened because when I got there on Tuesday there was nothing there, so it’s kind of hard. I could only go off of some of the information.”

Anderson said he has received new information and is working to see if AIP met what the EMA calls reportable quantity, or RQ.

Since the leak was in the gaseous state of matter it is hard for Anderson to discover the RQ.

“It’s more difficult to figure that out than having an actual gasoline or liquid because you’d have a quantity,” he said. “Since it was a vapor release I have to look at the make up of that chemical/chemicals and determine based on that, did one of them or both of them meet the required threshold to say that that is an actual release?”

In addition to Anderson investigating whether this is considered a release by the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, he has been dealing with questions from local residents as well.

“I have all of the information, and the rest of this week I’ll be trying to compile that and mapping it out and actually seeing did they meet the requirement,” he said. “There’s a lot of residents asking a lot of questions now, specifically, what was the chemical, are they in a threat zone?”

Anderson said he hopes to have this investigation closed by the middle of next week.

The LEPC also welcomed two new members to the committee Wednesday morning.

Oliver Fisher, the new health commissioner, and Erica Preston, the new county administrator, filled out applications and were approved by the committee.
 

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