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Allow plant tour

Martins Ferry officials are doing all they can to allay concerns about the quality of drinking water in the city.

Members of Concerned Ohio River Residents have been visiting City Council and the Belmont County Board of Commissioners, seeking reassurance that the activities of Austin Master Services LLC are not endangering water sources or the health of the community. Austin Master is a waste remediation company situated along First Street in the Purple City near the Ohio River. According Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Department of Health documents, the site is authorized to receive, store, process, treat and dispose of fracking waste, including “radioactive material.” This has some area residents alarmed

Mayor John Davies said last week that raw water testing shows that radium levels in the city’s water are well below levels considered acceptable by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water.

Austin Master spokesman Christopher Martin issued a statement in response to some of CORR’s claims.

“Austin Master Services takes these allegations very seriously and works very hard to ensure the safety of our team, our customers, and the community. We have a very strong relationship with ODNR and work in conjunction with their recommended action items. We also have a strong working relationship with the city of Martins Ferry,” it states in part.

If that is the case, the company should allow city leaders to tour the plant as requested to see for themselves how operations are handled. That would be a good way to ensure transparency and to build public trust.

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