Area treatment plant scrutinized in past purchased by new company

Valicor Environmental Services purchased the plant and about 33 parcels of residential- and industrial-zoned land for nearly $2.5 million

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

A Jefferson Twp. industrial treatment plant scrutinized by neighbors and the US EPA in the past and which was recently cited by Dayton’s Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) has been acquired by a new company.

Monroe-based Valicor Environmental Services purchased the plant and about 33 parcels of residential- and industrial-zoned land for nearly $2.5 million, Montgomery County property records show.

Besides the plant at 300 Cherokee Drive, Valicor purchased land in the area of Cherokee Drive, Bronston and Fraser streets, 114 Northhampton Ave. and other parcels along Northhampton and beyond in that area of West Dayton and Jefferson Twp.

The Cherokee plant is off West Third Street near Dayton’s Drexel area.

The seller in all the transactions was Dayton-based Clean Water Environmental LLC, a company Valicor just acquired. On Jan. 30, Valicor announced the acquisition from Hunting Dog Capital, a San Francisco private debt fund.

RAPCA issued a “notice of violation” to the previous owner, Clean Water Environmental, on Dec. 21, 2022 for a hole found in the duct work of an air pollution control device used to control potentially hazardous compounds from releasing from the facility, according to Dan Suffoletto, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Public Health office.

There was a small hole that “elevated it (air pollution from the plant) above where it needed to be in terms of the air pollution,” Suffoletto said in an interview Monday.

Eileen Moran, RAPCA senior manager, said the company corrected the problem after RAPCA first discovered it Dec. 7. She said she’s confident the new owner understands the situation.

“They’re in the process of taking ownership of all the enforcement documents,” Moran said of Valicor.

The plant mostly takes liquid waste streams and separates those streams into products that can be sold, such as oil or other liquids.

“There’s air pollution coming from all plants to a degree, not just this plant,” Suffoletto said.

The agency is also completing a required bi-annual full facility inspection that will take several months to perform, he added.

“We are currently completing frequent on-site inspections,” Suffoletto said. “During the inspection, RAPCA will evaluate and determine whether the company is complying with all air regulations and permits.”

Clean Water Environmental operated under consent orders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that were agreed to in 2007 and amended in 2018, the county said.

“The orders lay out additional responsibilities and requirements because of past concerns. Valicor has agreed to assume all the requirements of those orders and is in the process of finalizing the transfer of those responsibilities with U.S. EPA,” Suffoletto said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Corporate acquisition

Valicor describes itself as a “leading North American provider of non-hazardous wastewater treatment and recycling services.”

“We are pleased to partner with CWE (Clean Water Environmental) as we continue to expand our national platform of sustainable wastewater treatment offerings for our customers,” Valicor Chief Executive Steve Hopper said in a release. “With the addition of CWE’s advanced waste treatment capabilities, Valicor will strengthen our commitment to serve our customers and communities with environmentally responsible waste treatment practices.”

“A partnership with Valicor is the ideal next step for our company’s growth and development,” John Staton, CEO of Clean Water, said in the same release.

Valicor also has locations at 3415 Cincinnati-Dayton Road and 2640 Lefferson Road in Middletown. It has plants and offices in Alabama, Indiana, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan and elsewhere.

Some of the recently purchased parcels had been owned in the past by Perma-Fix, which had operated in that area since 1941. Perma-Fix sold its Cherokee Drive plant in 2008 after a Jefferson Twp. Zoning Board rejected a company request for a taller exhaust stack.

Four years later, RAPCA issued to subsequent property owner Clean Water a notice of violation. At the time, RAPCA Administrator John Paul said his agency was troubled with Clean Water’s response to an incident in February 2012 in which the plant accepted for recycling more than 58,000 gallons of refinery oil high in odoriferous hydrogen sulfide.

Earlier, in 2003, a neighborhood group’s protest derailed a U.S. Army contract with Perma-Fix for treatment of neutralized VX nerve agent to be discharged into the Montgomery County sewer system.

At the time, the plant recycled oil and industrial wastewater.

Valicor says it transports and processes “wastewater streams” that result from the production of industrial and consumer goods.

Hopper and another Valicor executive could not be reached for comment Monday.

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