Invite city leaders for tour

City leaders in Martins Ferry are doing the right thing and being responsive to area residents’ concerns. Now it’s time for a local business to do the same.

Austin Master Services LLC specializes in radiological, remediation and engineering services for other industrial businesses. Its Martins Ferry plant is located at 801 N. First St. along the Ohio River. According to forms sent from Austin Master Services to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, as well as ODNR and Ohio Department of Health documents, the site is authorized to receive, store, process, treat and dispose of fracking waste. A manager at the site previously told our reporter that the plant accepts both solid and liquid waste from frack sites, including “drilling muds and production flow back water sludge.”

According to its permit from the Ohio Department of Health, signed by Bureau of Radiation Protection Chief Michael Snee, the company may “receive, acquire, possess and transfer radioactive material,” including plutonium, uranium and radium. This has caused concern among some area residents, who asked Martins Ferry City Council to act to ensure the city’s water source is protected from contamination.

Past and current city administrations have expressed confidence that the facility is operating safely. But current Mayor John Davies and council members did not dismiss the residents’ concerns. Instead, they are seeking to arrange a tour of the plant to see for themselves how operations are handled.

Austin Master officials should welcome that visit. Assuming that the plant’s work is being conducted in a safe and approved manner, they should be happy to show city officials around so that they, in turn, can reassure the public.


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