PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) — Residents and officials in Piqua came together to discuss recent environmental concerns.
The city of Piqua held a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15 to offer an open dialogue regarding lithium battery testing done by the Energy Safety Response Group (ESRG). The meeting was held at Fort Piqua Plaza, 308 N. Main St.
The meeting is a result of resident concerns following ESRG’s lithium battery burn testing at the old Piqua Water Treatment Plant along State Route 66.
On Sept. 22, the Ohio EPA and RAPCA determined the battery testing was beyond the scope of permissions granted and ordered ESRG to cease all testing.
On Nov. 13, Piqua’s city manager, Paul Oberdorfer, released a statement regarding recent water testing:
“The city of Piqua today released results of a series of tests of conditions at the former water plant as well as drinking water sources throughout the city. Piqua, with input from Ohio EPA, contracted with a third-party independent sampling and laboratory to test the city’s water sources and treated water supply. Test results were received by the city Friday, Nov. 10, and reviewed by Ohio EPA. Results from the city’s drinking water plant confirm it’s acceptable for drinking, bathing, and cooking and results from source waters in the area show no concerning levels of contamination. Out of an abundance of caution and in coordination with the Ohio EPA, the city of Piqua will perform soil sampling and groundwater testing and the Ohio EPA will perform air modeling to determine if any contamination has occurred as a result of the battery testing operations that occurred at the former water plant.”Paul Oberdorfer, Piqua city manager
Despite the results being acceptable, residents still hold concerns about the water and soil quality in the area.
Structured like an open house, the meeting allowed members of the community to chat with various agency officials stationed at different tables. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Regional Air Pollution Control (RAPCA), Miami County Health Department and local city officials were in attendance.
According to our partners at Miami Valley Today, the small-group meeting format was frustrating and confusing for residents who wanted to voice their concerns to all of the involved parties.
ERSG has until Nov. 22 to clear out the area where they were performing lithium battery testing.
Oberdorfer says he hopes to have more information available at the next city commission meeting. That will take place on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Government Complex, located at 201 W. Water St.