Cargill explains why it agreed to salt settlement

Cargill explains why it agreed to salt settlement

In response to your edi- torial of Aug. 14 titled “Top rock-salt suppliers did more than conspire,” we thought your readers would be interested in Cargill Salt’s views about the difficult decision we made several months ago to settle the case filed against us and Morton Salt by the Ohio attorney general.

As stated in your editorial, Morton and Cargill agreed to pay $11.5 million. All along, we emphatically denied the allegations and stated that we always acted ethically and in line with Cargill’s guiding principles. Although we felt we had a good case, the settlement prevented spiraling costs and was a fraction of what the state originally sought, more than $100 million.

Whoever lost the jury trial would appeal, and that would have meant ongoing costs. As important as the money, settling lifted a huge burden from our employees who already spent countless hours in depositions and gathering tens of thousands of documents to provide to the state.

The fact is that road salt prices are determined by supply and demand. Prices rise when supplies are low and demand is high. Prices drop when supplies are ample and demand is low. Interestingly, the lawsuit followed from a 2011 Ohio Inspector General’s report that said the agency “did not find evidence that (Cargill and Morton) communicated on salt bids.”

The settlement was written to be clear that neither Cargill nor Morton admitted any wrong- doing precisely because we did not do anything illegal or unethical. We take seriously our role in making winter driving safer and this in fact is part of our mission statement.

Mark Klein, Minneapolis

Mark Klein is director of communications for Cargill Salt.

Liberty leader seeks changes in handling injection waste

The article on THE front page of The Vindicator on Aug. 9 regarding Volney Rogers, founder of Mill Creek Park, and his fight against sewer lines in the park brings to light a similar issue we are dealing with today. That issue is the toxic drilling waste welcomed here from Pennsylvania and West Virginia and injected into wells in Northeast and Southeast Ohio.

In 2014, Trumbull County had recorded 18 active and 23 permitted injection wells injecting the most toxic waste at 2,968,838 barrels. Of Trumbull’s total, 87 percent is from out of state. The vast majority in other counties also is from out of state.

This toxic waste should be treated the same as medical waste in Class 1 wells. These go through inspections once every year by the federal EPA. The Class 2 wells that are used for this waste have not been carefully updated for this type of disposal and, therefore, we continue to have spills of chemicals whose content is unknown. Our first responders and emergency management have to enter these dangerous situations with many unknowns jeopardizing their health and safety.

A group of trustees from the Trumbull County Township Association has worked since last March to develop proposed safeguards for ODNR to incorporate into its waste-disposal regulations. Our association passed a resolution requesting a moratorium be enacted on any future development of injection wells until our 11 changes are adopted.

They are common-sense proposals to safeguard our residents including the monitoring for air and water contamination, local traffic studies, notification to governmental entities before issuing new permits and notifying landowners and school districts within the area of review.

Our resolution and those of other counties have been forwarded to Gov. Kasich.

Injection wells provide no benefit to local governments in Ohio. All monies collected go directly to the state, but all hazards for these wells are the responsibilities of first responders and local governments.

Jodi K. Stoyak, Liberty

Jodi K. Stoyak is a Liberty Township trustee.

Parents had better wise up

I have been a mentor volunteer at schools for many years helping to teach children to read.

Some have been so bad that they only knew their name, age and birthday.

They did not know their ABCs or 1-2-3s, skills that should have been taught to them before they started school by their parents, not the teachers.

You talk about poverty. Today the poor have more help at welfare agencies and everywhere else. Today’s parents better wise up for their children’s future. Make America smarter.

Carmela Lemme, Canfield

Petition decision & tyranny

Once again, political tyranny rears its ugly head as Ohio Secretary Of State Jon Husted maintains that as chief executive over elections, he is using his “unfettered authority’’ to make thousands of signatures of active voters invalid in ruling that referendums on fracking would circumvent state law.

As the official who licenses corporations and allows them to do business within the state, such as the big oil and gas industry, this smacks of crony capitalism and is disenfranchising the people’s initiative to protect their communities from rampant industrialization and the blatant takeover of corporate greed.

It is clear that the oil and gas industry – serial polluters who disregard humans, nature and the environment – have a government pass to encroach on our communities and neighborhoods with untethered abandon as the ultimate dictatorship in Ohio.

Heidi Jo Kroeck, Youngstown

Ferguson protests should target Planned Parenthood

Did the protest march in Ferguson, Mo., pass an abortion clinic? How can President Obama call the recent undercover video of Planned Parenthood “inaccurate”? If it takes a video to expose racism, shouldn’t it also take a video to shock America into seeing the inhumanity of African-American aborted babies?

Mercy, not violence, changes hearts. Did Ferguson violence change hearts to respect every human life? There’s more work to be done if the protest march does not also target aborted African Americans and Planned Parenthood.

Sylvia Koczwara, Youngstown

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