The City of Piqua confirmed today that Energy Storage Response Group (ESRG) has vacated the City’s former water treatment plant. ESRG has removed all materials from the premises and no longer has any access to the site.
Prior to vacating the site, ESRG had leased a portion of the site to conduct research into how lithium-ion batteries are affected under significant stress. The research involved pushing these batteries to failure to simulate real-world situations where occasionally these batteries catch fire. “The City is aware there is some misunderstanding of the activity at the site,” said Brent Polschneider, Chief, Piqua Fire Department. “The site was definitively not being used to incinerate any type of battery for disposal, as we have heard some rumors.”
Last week representatives from the City of Piqua, Ohio EPA, RAPCA and the Miami County Health Department hosted a community open house to answer questions and share information regarding sampling results from the recent activities by ESRG at the City’s former water treatment plant. Approximately 60 community members were present for the event and were able to ask questions of representatives from the City or any of the agencies.
The City of Piqua, with input from Ohio EPA, contracted with a third-party independent sampling and laboratory to test the City’s water sources and treated water supply. Results of the sampling from the City's drinking water plant confirm the water is acceptable for drinking, bathing, and cooking; and results from sampling of source waters in the area show there are no concerning levels of contamination.
The contractor used by the City of Piqua is WSP Global, Inc., an internationally recognized environmental consulting company with local offices.
With ESRG’s removal from the site as of November 20, 2023, the City of Piqua will work with the Ohio EPA for additional on-site sampling over the coming weeks and months. In coordination with the Ohio EPA, the City of Piqua will perform soil sampling and groundwater testing and the Ohio EPA will perform air modeling.
“Through a grant from the Bowling Green State University Fire School, the site will be used for technical and fire certification training. This is a completely separate activity from the ESRG activities, added Polschneider. “Our current plan is to host community members for an open house at the site in 2024.