The City of Piqua is a safe, livable, and welcoming community with a proud history of fostering economic and community development initiatives while providing solid fiscal management. There is no higher priority for each member of the City Commission and the staff leadership than to protect and serve our residents and businesses.
Beginning in 2018, the City of Piqua entered into an agreement with Bowling Green State University, State Fire School, to provide beneficial fire safety training for our fire department and other regional fire departments. The training was part of a research and development initiative to provide limited, small-scale testing of lithium-ion batteries in a controlled environment under a permit by the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA). The partnership was expected to increase the economic vitality of our city by adding jobs and other community benefits, in addition to valuable training and fire safety research.
At each stage, the operations were reviewed and permitted by the appropriate regulatory agency, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and RAPCA. The testing continued with regular reporting between January 18, 2018, and September 22, 2023. No citations or violations were issued to the City or Energy Storage Response Group (ESRG) by RAPCA or the Ohio EPA for the site during that period.
On September 19, 2023, it was discovered that ESRG had expanded its operations beyond the limitation of the air permit. Once identified, swift action was taken to notify the Ohio EPA and RAPCA. Because the operations had exceeded the scope of the issued permit, the Ohio EPA issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to ESRG on September 27, 2023.
All ESRG operations ceased on September 22, 2023, and ESRG agreed to vacate the site. Access to the site is now being controlled by City personnel and ESRG has been given until November 22, 2023, to relocate.
At no point since 2018 has the Ohio EPA or RAPCA reported any concerns regarding our community's air, soil, or water related to the site.
We met with the Ohio EPA for an update this week, and there is no further action required at this time.