Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Airport moves to stem pollution

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HEBRON — The Kenton County Airport Board on Monday approved $175,000 to design a new collection tank for the substance used to de-ice airplanes, taking yet another step toward solving a long-standing environmental problem.

        The new 2-million-gallon tank, which will cost an estimated $2.5 million and is to be online by the end of the year, will be used to collect and dispose of the excess ethylene glycol at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

        In 1997, the airport paid a $100,000 fine to the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet for polluting two Boone County streams with the substance. Ethylene glycol robs oxygen from streams, killing fish.

        The tank will allow the substance to be slowly released to a sewage-treatment plant instead of directly into the water table. It also will collect previously unaccounted for ethylene glycol off the runways.

        The excess substance has been allowed to run off planes and runways, which allowed it to trickle into local waterways.

        Last year, the board spent $2.2 million for a similar tank that holds 3 million gallons on the south side of the airport, and it has spent more than $5 million overall in dealing with the problem.

        Even with the adjustments, the Dry Creek sewage plant has been forced to release polluted water into the Ohio River because of overload at times.


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