434 incident reports and pollution logs filed on Heartland Petroleum accidents, odors

COLUMBUS — Since Heartland Petroleum opened their motor oil re-refinery on East 5th Avenue in Columbus in March 2009, nearby workers and neighbors have filed 434 incident reports and pollution logs. Ohio EPA records show complaints from area employees, residents, and passing motorists, and incident reports files by Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services employees who work across the street from Heartland. In addition, area employees have been sending pollution logs to Ohio Citizen Action on the kind of pollution coming from Heartland, and how it is affecting them.

People have complained about odors outside, inside employees’ cars, inside buildings, and as far away as I-670 to the west and North Hamilton Road to the east. They have smelled gasoline, rotten eggs, sulfur, burnt rubber, oil, petroleum, natural gas, chemical, and sewer gas. And the reported results have been headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, tight breathing, tightness in the chest and throat, shortness of breath, coughing, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, nausea, sleepiness, sneezing, and a metallic taste. Between February 9, 2009 and January 11, 2011, complaints were filed with the Ohio EPA on 69 different days. Of these days, 47 had at least two complaints.

Kate Russell, Columbus Area Organizer, Ohio Citizen Action