How is the Industrial Site Impacting Our Physical and Mental Health and Our Quality of Life?

  • Citizens who live within 3 miles of this industrial site complain about chemical odors, putrid odors, high levels of a dust-like substance, noise at all hours of the night, etc. that they associate with this site.  Complaints include citizens experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea, burning, body weakness, increased stress, depression, loss of sleep, and much more. The emissions from this site include tons upon tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter (PM) and, most likely much more.
  • Listed side effects to the above chemicals include many of the side effects described by citizens.  What is the correlation here?  Are asthma cases increased near the site? How about respiratory illnesses?  How about other illnesses?  The above are acute symptoms, but what are the long-term impacts of living near these contaminants?  How are at risk groups (children, elderly, pregnant women, etc.) being impacted?
  • Citizens report they don’t open windows, they don’t sit, walk, exercise, work, etc. outside when the horrible odors are in the air, and/or when the noise is happening.  Mothers, Grandmothers and teachers have all expressed concern about sending children out to play when odors are in the air.  Some check the wind direction every morning because of the odors from this site.  Citizens report that their quality of life is impacted by living near this site, how does this impact physical and mental health?


How is This Industrial Site Impacting Our Children’s Outdoor Play?

  • What impact does this industrial site have on children’s outdoor play in the area, and how this relates to their health? Outdoor play is essential to children’s healthy development.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least one hour a day for outdoor play.  Is this still a recommendation to be followed if the air is compromised with chemical contaminants from asphalt production OR with particulate matter?


How Does the Industrial Site Impact Our Local Ozone Levels?

  • The American Lung Association compiles a national yearly State of the Air Report.  Franklin county has received an F rating for ozone for many years in a row, including in 2019.  Ozone is comprised of VOCs and nitrogen oxide.  How does the 270/Westerville Road industrial site impact Franklin County’s ozone?  What are the ozone levels in the neighborhoods surrounding this industrial site?


How Does the Ohio EPA Calculate Acceptable exposure amounts?

  • Citizens are being exposed to a large amount of chemical and particulate contaminants, and noise from this industrial site?  How are the acceptable levels different for little children?  Is the agency, and the health departments calculating this?  Are they calculating that some are being exposed potentially for hours upon hours on any given day?  Is the agency considering the cumulative emissions and these acceptable levels?  Since these cumulative levels have never been measured for quantities or makeup, we think the agency is must NOT be considering the cumulative exposure levels.


What is Being Emitted from the Class IV Yard Waste Composting Facility, and What Impact is it Having on Us?

  • Are bioaerosols (Aspergillus/Penicillium spores, fungal spores, bacteria, endotoxins) being released?  If so, at what levels?  What is the impact for citizens including at risk groups?  Is methane being released?  How do compost fires that can spontaneously combust in the piles impacting air in the area?


The OEPA Has Confirmed to CPW That an Odor Controlling Product is Being Used.

  • Many have filed complaints regarding a “cherry smell,” a “detergent smell.”  Does this odor product impact our health?


SILICA? Tons Upon Tons of Particulate Matter (PM) Exposure:

  • What makes up the PM?  We do not think the Ohio EPA or any agency has EVER tested or analyzed the cumulative particulate matter emissions from this site.  Does the crushing of concrete emit SILICA?  If so, at what amounts?  Does the crushing of recycled asphalt emit polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and silica? Does the asphalt production emit PAHs?  If so, at what amounts collectively?


Have any Agencies Conducted Epidemiological Studies?

  • We do not think any such studies have ever been conducted in this area.



Businesses, Property Values, City’s Marketability, etc.


  • How is This Industrial Site Impacting our Property Values? One study from North Carolina shows that living near an asphalt plant can decrease your property values.
  • How is the particulates impacting cars, houses, etc.? Citizens living near the site report that an on-going, strange dust covers their cars, houses, patio furniture, etc.
  • How is This Industrial Site Impacting Businesses in the Surrounding Area? One testimonial collected by CPW revealed that one father will not shop at Raisin Rack when the wind is out of the north, and blowing in odors from the industrial site.
  • How is This Industrial Site Impacting Westerville’s, Blendon Township’s, Columbus’ Images and Marketability? Many have said they would not have moved here if they would have known they would have to deal with odors, dust, noise, etc.  One testimonial collected by CPW talks about how a man decided not to move to Westerville to be near his aging mother because of the industrial site.




  • Illegal Discharges. Illegal discharges have been uncovered at the site from concrete washout, concrete dyes, industrial waste, etc.  Concrete washout contains toxic metals. It’s caustic and corrosive, having a pH near 12. In comparison, Drano liquid drain cleaner has a pH of 13.5. Caustic washout can harm fish gills and eyes and interfere with reproduction. The safe pH ranges for aquatic life habitats are 6.5 – 9 for freshwater and 6.5 – 8.5 for saltwater.  What contaminants do the other illegal discharges contain?  Since no testing was conducted, we don’t know.  In fact, to our knowledge, no comprehensive chemical testing has ever been conducted of the runoff, leaching, etc. from this industrial site


Kurtz Bros Withdraws Water from Alum Creek

  • Kurtz Bros’ Storm Water Pollution Plan says they withdraw water from Alum Creek.What impact does this water withdraw have on the creek and creek life?


Why has Chemical Water Testing Never Been Done?

  • What chemicals are being deposited into Alum Creek, and the tributary via storm water runoff and how is this impacting the creek and creek life?




  • Source Water Protection Area. A portion of the industrial site operates in the Source Water Protection Area for the Huber Ridge public drinking water wells. Are toxic metals being deposited onto the ground at this site via the concrete washout that is placed there?  If so, what are these metals, and at what levels?  If so, are they impacting the groundwater? What are the chances of these making their way to the drinking water wells?
  • Leachate Ponds
    Do the composting leachate ponds impact the groundwater?  If so, how?  Are precautions being taken since at least one of these leachate pons seem to be placed in the Source Water Protection Area?
  • Precautions
    What general precautions are being taken at this site that operates in and near the Source Water Protection Area for the Huber Ridge public water supply, ie: The underground storage tanks on site for instance, the above ground storage tanks, etc.?




A Disconcerting Lack of Knowledge about the Industrial Site


  • CPW has helped to uncover some 30+ violations at this industrial site. How did the regulating agencies miss these?  Some of these violations have been missed for decades.
  • When so many citizens are filing complaints, why have citizen interviews never been conducted by the regulatory agencies?
  • When so many emitting facilities are operating on a 109-acre site in a VERY populated area, why has the Ohio EPA never measured the collective particulates coming from this site? Why have they never tested to see if silica is being released from the concrete crushing plant’s operations, or determined levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons?
  • When this industrial site operates along Alum Creek and in the Source Water Protection Area for the Huber Ridge public water supply, AND when there have been, in the OEPA words, “a pattern of water violations,” why has the Ohio EPA never conducted chemical sampling of the storm water, the creek and the ground water?


Just Some of the Ohio EPA Decisions that Concern CPW


  • Why, when the industrial site operates in the Source Water Protection Area does the agency allow concrete washout, that can contain toxic metals, to be deposited onto the ground into unlined pits?
  • Upon receiving documentation from CPW that the asphalt plant burned used oil in 2010, a fuel usage the company failed to report to the OEPA via fuel records (thus exposing citizens to an unknown amount of pollutants), the OEPA issued no violations or fines. Why did the Ohio EPA not know about this oil usage? Why were fines not issued, especially when the owners of the asphalt plant (Kokosing Materials and Shelly Materials) have both faced legal action from the state of Ohio for air pollution violations in the past, AND other plants of Shelly Materials’ around the state have received recent violations? (See the CPW Public Record Archive to review these violations).
  • Why, when this asphalt plant is operating in such a populated area, has the Ohio EPA allowed for emissions to be increased over the years? For example, since 2000, the agency has allowed for a doubling of allowable volatile organic compound emissions from the Scioto Materials asphalt production plant (from 24 tons a year to 54 tons).
  • When this industrial site operates in such a populated area, why would the Ohio EPA allow Kurtz Bros Westerville Yard Waste Facility to attain, in 2011, a registration for these huge compost piles?
  • In the recent 2015 stack test, where emissions are measured, the Ohio EPA allowed the plant to conduct this critical five-year test at lower than worst case conditions. Furthermore, the Ohio EPA is allowing the plant to operate at 15% above these 2015 testing levels, averaged daily. One might argue this is in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.  One might also argue that when the plant runs at these levels, there is no data to show definitively how many pollutants we are being exposed to, OR, if the asphalt plant is, indeed, in continual compliance.
  • Why is the OEPA now allowing the asphalt plant to NOT test for VOCs and sulfur dioxide during their important 5-year stack test?
  • In 2017, the Ohio EPA conducted a year-long olfactory study, and found no odors of concern related to the asphalt plant and compost piles. However, the OEPA continues to receive countless citizen odor complaints.  CPW believes it is important to discuss and resolve this gap.  The Ohio EPA has refused to take part in anymore public meetings.
  • Even though citizens continue to communicate their suffering to the Ohio EPA, the agency asserts the companies at the site are all in compliance, and that there is nothing more that can be done. Firstly, CPW asserts, once again, that there is no data to support this compliance argument re: the asphalt plant.  Secondly, CPW has uncovered some 30+ violations at this site in the last few years, and brought them to the OEPA and other regulating authorities.  The OEPA was citing compliance throughout these discoveries.  Finally, we ask this:  how can compliance be enough when citizens are still suffering?
  • That the OEPA has allowed for repeated violations due to concrete washout (that contains toxic metals) and allowed for this washout to be placed on the ground (without a liner) which goes against EPA best practices for washout disposal.
  • Many illegalities at this industrial site have been brought to light by citizens in the last few years. Do these reveal a pattern or propensity at the site to ignore the laws put in place to protect citizens?  Do these violations brought to light also reveal a breakdown in the regulatory process?  What are the implications for citizens, Alum Creek and the groundwater/aquifer?
  • Why was the Franklin County Health Department NOT aware until recently that the Kurtz was a class IV composting facility? The OEPA had a registration on file for this facility.  Consequently, the facility was NEVER inspected until a citizen brought this classification to the attention of the health department.  What are the impacts?
  • Why did the OEPA never cite Metro Materials (until recently when citizens inquired) for operating without a legally required storm water permit? This Co. was issued a Permit to Install and Operate from the OEPA in 1998, and the OEPA has visited the site countless times over the years.




  • When violations have been brought to light at this site, regulators follow up with a protocol of “voluntary compliance.” What does this mean?  The OEPA and all other regulators of this site will always work with the companies to achieve VOLUNTARY compliance without issuing fines.  What incentive do companies have to follow the laws?