Ohio plant eyes Indiana to avoid environmental rule

June 23, 2010

Ohio's governor has asked state environmental regulators to come up with a way to save 214 jobs at a northwest Ohio plant that is considering a move to Indiana because of an environmental rule.

Continental Structural Plastics, an auto parts plant in North Baltimore, south of Toledo, said a state regulation requires it to use a machine that reduces pollution and costs $500,000 to operate each year.

But the company says the machine is no longer needed to meet Ohio Environmental Protection Agency standards because it has cut production at its paint shop and it has increased use of robotics and air recycling.

Indiana is being considered because it does not have the same rule.

Officials met over the weekend to see if anything could be done, and Gov. Ted Strickland's office said the state will explore every option to keep the jobs in Ohio.

"I've been led to believe if we can resolve this, we have an excellent chance to retain it," said state Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green.

Ohio EPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce said the agency in the past has worked with companies that want to change their pollution permits when they either expand or decrease their production.

She said regulators want to meet with the company to further discuss the issue.


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