Dayton company fined for spill they say caused by ex-employee

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State mining regulators have fined a Dayton company $13,500 for a chemical spill the head of that firm says was caused by a disgruntled ex-employee.

Eden Research plans to make a soil enhancement product that General Manager Mary Mains says can "remineralize worn out soils," and make them productive again.

But last year, the Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation received what documents in the case file say was "an anonymous report that Eden had discharged process solution to the ditch outside" the rear entrance to their plant on Airport Vista Blvd.

That process solution is used to separate gold ore from rock and contains cyanide.

According to the case file, inspectors did find cyanide in two soil samples at the site.

Mains reached an agreement with state officials to remove and dispose of the contaminated soil, hire an independent contractor to test and confirm the pollutant was gone and pay a $13,500 fine to the state.

According to the report by Patrick Goldstrand who handled the state investigation and inspection, the contractor removed five cubic yards of soil from an 8-foot by 15-foot area behind Eden Research's plant. The report says tests confirmed the contamination did not go below two feet underground.

In her letter accepting the conditions and fine, Mains said she believes a a disgruntled ex-employee not only caused the spill but reported the company to the state.

"I have every reason to believe this was a deliberate sabotage by our former employee," she said. Mains said the worker in question had threatened to bankrupt the company and that the plant was broken into shortly after that happened.

She said the cost of the spill is much more than just that fine.

"The cost of clean-up has been over $14,000 by AMEC Earth and Environmental," she wrote in her letter to bureau officials.

Mains said Tuesday the incident has put Eden in "financial distress" but that it will survive and, eventually be able to hire numerous employees in the Dayton area.

"Eden Research will become an asset to the economy of this area and will strive to follow all known safety regulations," she wrote in her letter to state officials closing out the violation and remediation report.


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