Ohio EPA Schedules Meeting to Discuss Permit Modification for Cristal USA

A request to modify a discharge permit for Cristal USA in Ashtabula will be the subject of a Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 Ohio EPA public meeting. An information session will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a public hearing at the Kent State Ashtabula Auditorium, 3300 Lake Road West.

Ohio EPA is reviewing an application from Cristal USA to modify the facility’s permit to discharge mercury from its Ashtabula Complex at 2900 Middle Road. If approved, the modification would allow the facility to discharge mercury to Lake Erie at levels that exceed the 1.3 parts per trillion (ppt) limit required in its existing permit.

Ohio EPA has evaluated the cost and feasibility of the proposal and determined that a more effective way to lower the mercury impact is to reduce the amount of mercury being put into the wastewater systems. Therefore, in order to receive a variance from the mercury limit, the facility would be required to identify the sources of mercury that go to the treatment systems and take steps to minimize the mercury releases from those sources.

Comments on the requested proposed modification may be presented at the Nov. 3 hearing, or submitted in writing to: Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049; or by email: epa.dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov. The public comment period will end Nov. 10. Following consideration of public comments, Ohio EPA will make a decision on the application.

The proposed discharge permit and related materials are available for review at Ohio EPA’s Northeast District Office in Twinsburg. Call (330) 963-1200 for an appointment.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.