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Refinery plant closes temporarily to quell odor problems

COLUMBUS — “An East Side refinery has temporarily closed to correct a problematic pressure valve, days after the state filed a court order seeking the plant’s closure over odor problems.

The management of Heartland Petroleum decided on Tuesday to suspend operations of its used-oil refinery at 4001 E. 5th Ave., according to a news release from Rob Schmidt, an attorney who represents the refinery.

But the company says its decision is unrelated to a recent court action sought by the Ohio attorney general and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Refinery personnel had found a pressure-relief valve on a storage tank was intermittently venting, the release said. The company said, however, that it’s still in compliance with an August 2010 order from the Franklin County Environmental Court concerning its operations.

‘Although the problem that was observed was intermittent and, we believe at this time, did not lead to any significant odor release, Heartland refinery is aware of its obligations under the court’s order, and upon discovery of the problem began the process of shutting the refinery down,’ Schmidt said in his release.”

— Jim Woods, Columbus Dispatch

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