Commissioners began their meeting on Thursday by addressing previous statements made regarding the A-plant. Commissioner Mike Crabtree expressed that his statements had been misconstrued.
“There’s been a whole lot of things said about the A-plant, and with that being said I was misquoted a few times on that. The remarks I made the other day was that we’ve all lost friends and relatives or someone close that we know at the A-plant.” Crabtree said he didn’t list specific individuals, because his own relatives weren’t affected to his knowledge.
“The A-plant is getting an awful lot of attention because of some of the hazards that’s been there, but what people don’t realize is there’s lot of people that work for law enforcement, and other dangerous jobs. And they know that. They go to work every day anyway. Firemen who’ve died trying to save lives. Construction workers,” said Crabtree. “The thing that I’ve noticed about people it doesn’t matter where they work, even the ones that worked up there and claimed it was a hazardous place to work, they went to work anyway. The thing that everyone has in common when they work a dangerous job, is the fact they know that they’ve got a family and kids that have to eat and they run the risks. Even the people that serve in the army, you don’t know if you’ll be one of the unlucky ones that don’t make it home. The reality is people go back to work and do what their duty is and they take care of their family because they care about them and they take that risk because that’s just the way it is. There’s a lot of jobs that are dangerous. People run risks every day. But working for a company for thirty-some years and going around taking stabs at people out here think that we should get on board to clean up a situation that’s been here long before some of us were born is not our fault.”
Crabtree stated he believed the fault wasn’t on the commissioners as much as the people who stood idly by for all those years and now have complaints.
“It’s not as much our fault as it is the fault of folks that worked there for all those years, and as long as they were drawing a paycheck they went back in there knowing it was dangerous, they drew their paychecks and they never said anything, never made a peep until they were no longer employed. I’m not saying there’s anything right about what the A-plant done and I can tell you this, when you sue the government you sue each and every one of us here that is paying taxes. When you sue the company you work for or the government most of the time you’re suing your neighbor next door.”
Crabtree stated that he thinks people will continue doing dangerous jobs in order to make ends meet, and said you can’t turn around and say it’s the companies fault that you worked there for thirty years and are in the shape that you are in. “If you knew the dangers when you was there you should have been a whistleblower back in the times when it really made a difference, the A-plant is out of business now. I hear so much of that stuff, we all don’t like what’s in the ground up there but there’s very little we can do the department energy is going to make a final tally on that. I’m getting tired of some of that crap,” said Crabtree.
Commissioner Cathy Coleman objected to accusations of the commissioners being corrupt, and stated that the commissioners were trying to be responsible in their duties by checking things out before speaking on the matter. “We work very hard to make sure to do the best for our community and take care of their welfare. As responsible commissioners we may not speak on something immediately, but we do check it out and will address it.”
Commissioner Bryan Davis stated he felt that it was import for journalists to fact-check their information before spreading information to the general public. “I don’t think that creating a health panic would be constructive in any way for the people of Scioto County and I question people who want to do such,” said Davis. “With that being said, is there contamination? Absolutely. We know this, everyone knows this. We know more than most people because we read the reports and we’ve sat down with the department of energy and we’ve talked to the officials and we’ve had conversations with other government officials in Pike County. There’s a real problem up there and the DOE is doing their best trying to get that cleaned up through decontamination and demolition. Thousands of our citizens are working up there right now trying to get it cleaned up. Basically the accusation saying we are covering things up is simply not true. To say that we don’t support the workers or previous workers, I have to question that mentality.”
Commissioner Davis stated that no one is doubting those dealing with health issues today and stated commissioners support the workers, but stated they are pushing back against misinformation to make sure the public knows the truth and that it is communicated fully. “The important thing is that there isn’t an issue in Otway,” said Davis. “There is a third party study being done by the DOE that will spread into Scioto county, so they will be looking at his again on multiple levels to put the public at ease.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932