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EPA Releases Final Report on Air Toxics Outside School in Vienna, West Virginia

Release Date: 12/21/2010
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543.

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 21, 2010) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the report on air toxics monitoring at Neale Elementary in Vienna, West Virginia and at Warren Elementary and The Ohio Valley Educational Service Center in Marietta, Ohio has been posted on the agency’s website. The report is posted on the School Air Toxics website at

EPA’s analysis of air quality monitoring conducted outside the three schools indicates the need for more monitoring since there were elevated levels of manganese outside each of the schools. The Marietta area has previously been studied for manganese and other metals because of community concerns about air pollution. All other monitored pollutants were below levels of concern.

EPA selected the three schools because the West Virginia and Ohio environmental agencies recommended them for the agency’s Schools Air Toxics Monitoring Initiative, designed to help EPA and states understand whether long-term exposure to air toxics poses health concerns for children and staff at specific schools.

Although the elevated levels of manganese pose no immediate health threats, additional air monitoring will begin next summer to help EPA, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Ohio EPA gain a better understanding of levels of manganese in outdoor air and whether there are potential health concerns from long-term exposure.

Eramet Marietta, Inc., a metallurgical manufacturing plant in the area, is the largest emitter of manganese in the country. EPA is reviewing the federal Clean Air Act rules that apply to facilities like Eramet, to ensure they protect public health as required by law. The plant has reported that it’s installing new pollution control equipment expected to reduce particulate matter emissions. Because manganese can be emitted as a particle, Eramet’s changes should also reduce manganese levels in the outside air at the schools and in the surrounding community. The additional monitoring will determine if the changes are effective.

Meanwhile, EPA, West Virginia DEP and Ohio EPA will continue efforts to address the elevated manganese concentrations in the community.

To see a listing of the 63 schools in 22 states that are included in EPA’s study: