EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio - Initial test results of ash collected in East Liverpool following a July 13 incident at Heritage Thermal Services (formerly WTI) show there is no cause for concern at this time about adverse health effects, according to the company.
A summary of the findings will be published on the company's website at www.heritage-thermal.com. The company operates a hazardous waste incinerator on Saint George Street in the city.
"We thank our neighbors for their patience to learn about the results," HTS President John Avdellas said in a release Thursday. "We needed this time to ensure the samples were collected and tested properly."
Employees of HTS took to the streets immediately after the release of the ash, collecting samples from poles, meters, surface areas and swimming pool water.
The initial ash samples were analyzed for the presence of 23 compounds: aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silver, sodium, thallium and zinc.
Additional samples were collected the following Monday with oversight by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which also collected its own samples.
The HTS samples were sent to a laboratory qualified to compile the results in accordance with generally accepted methods and procedures established by the federal government, according to HTS.
Samples will continue to be collected, with the company hiring an environmental specialist to plan, conduct and report the findings of soil tests which should take about a month to complete.
Heritage deployed employees into the neighborhood after the release to speak with residents, offering to clean up properties and also offering free car washes.
Additionally, the company contracted with the city to have its street sweeper clean streets in the affected area.
A toll-free phone number, (800) 343-1984, was set up to allow residents a chance to voice their questions and concerns about the ash release, and that calling center will be open until 6 p.m. today and through the weekend.
"Again, we are sorry for disturbing the neighbors' summer afternoon on July 13. We are working hard to make sure it does not happen again," Avdellas said.
The OEPA has said test results from its samples will take some time to compile, after which it will be determined whether any enforcement action or recommendations on alternate operations will be imposed.