Fire catastrophe

I took time this afternoon to read and review the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for Intercontinental Export Import, Inc. (Previously the Ames Company location; you may have noticed the smoke and soot from the fire there over the past few days).

For several years, I taught a WVUP course on business ethics, and this location would be a good example of what type of business that you do not want to own or operate.

I retired from managing industrial plants for several decades; if I had ever let the facilities get into this condition, I would have asked to “retire” much earlier than I did. In other words, I would have been fired. Responsible companies do NOT operate the way IEI did. I often drove by the old Ames properties and could see the facilities deteriorate each year. In this case, a book could be judged by its “cover.”

I have completed many NPDES applications over the years; this report for IEI is the worst one that I have ever read; this statement is about the images and the facts of their operations. Look at the pictures; the sites are deplorable and unacceptable. I did inspect a storm water discharge point on this property years ago and did issue a report on the necessary corrective measures.

I am a professional engineer and deplore those who will gossip about events without seeking the facts and go on Facebook to get their information. Facebook may or may not be correct. Most of that material is just gossip and is not based on facts. You may be able to access the WV DEP consent report issued on 10 March 2015 to IEI; order #7802.

Some of these photos remind me of the international pollution reports that I have seen from China and India. There are rivers in China that are so acidic that nothing lives in the water. We sometimes criticize the EPA, but they have helped clean up the air and water in the US.

William Brown, P.E.