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Painesville Township takes factory to court over years of odor emissions

February 28, 2019

Painesville Township takes factory to court over years of odor emissions

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Township trustees have filed 39 misdemeanor charges against a manufacturing facility for repeatedly emitting foul odors since 2017.

The named operation is Hardy Industrial Technologies (HTS), one of three similarly named entities that are owned by Magnus International of Chagrin Falls. HTS specializes in processing plant and animal-based oils into products for consumer and industrial markets.

Mike Manary, the township administrator, said odors from the area around HST have been a constant source of citizen complaints “for years.”

The township worked with HTS and two other unrelated businesses to reduce the output of the odors. Hardy was charged in 2015 but promised to reduce the odor output.

The other two companies nearby were successful and were never charged.

The offenses that Hardy is charged with this time, called unclassified misdemeanors, can be punished with fines up to $500 for each day that odors were detected. Manary said Painesville Municipal Court could impose no fine, a minor sum or the full bill, which could total $19,500 along with additional fines for subsequent emissions.

The charges are considered zoning violations and stem from an investigation by Richard Constantine, the township’s zoning inspector.

Eric Lofquist, the co-founder, president and CEO of Magnus, declined comment on Wednesday. According to the Magnus website, he had a background in the business and chemistry for decades before buying a vacant oleochemical plant in the township in 2007. It is now the base of operations for all three businesses owned by Magnus.