Wauseon Schools on watch for bad air

Reported by Tim Miller email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

FULTON COUNTY (WTOL) - The national publication USA Today has some very unflattering things to say about a local school district.

It says Wauseon in Fulton County has some of the worst air in the country and that it's putting kids at risk of major health problems.

Wauseon parent Steve Cheney was surprised to hear Elm Street Elementary has been labeled the 12th most toxic school in the nation. USA Today says only 11 schools out of 127,000 across the country have worse air.

Only 75 schools were worse than Wauseon High School, and only 147 were worse than Burr Road Middle School. All three are in the top one percentile of most toxic in the nation.

The newspaper says manufacturing plants are to blame: the Haas door company, Multi-cast Corp., and the GM Powertrain plant in Defiance.

The district's superintendent doesn't accept the results.

"I'd be lying if I didn't think USA Today was somewhat irresponsible in how they handled this thing," said Wauseon School Superintendent Marc Robinson.

The newspaper said it used a government computer model and only some on-scene testing to come up with the air quality levels. Robinson says he and the Fulton County Health Department and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency aren't putting much stock in the report.

"To hear that and to know that in reality a meter or a monitor was not actually in our school district, you would just question how that happens," Robinson said.

But Robinson is still taking the report seriously. He'll meet with the health department director on Thursday to further analyze it.