Plug pulled on controversial battery business


By Mike Ullery

For Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — After weeks of controversy, a business that was reported to have been burning lithium-ion batteries is shutting down its operation and leaving Piqua according to Piqua City Manager Paul Oberdorfer.

During a phone interview this week, Oberdorfer said, “We came to a mutual agreement. The Energy Storage Research Group (ESRG) and the city of Piqua agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest for the battery testing company to discontinue operations in Piqua. “

Chief Brent Pohlschneider of the Piqua Fire Department said he was informed of the decision last Friday. ESRG has 60 days in which to remove all of their equipment from the site, located on city of Piqua property which is the location of the former city water treatment plant on state Rout 66. at the north edge of the city.

One of the bi-products of the site controversy has been the apparent confusion that included the newly-constructed “burn building” as part of the ESRG site.

Both Pohlschneider and Oberdorfer stressed that the burn building is a totally separate facility and is specifically designed to provide training to both fire department and law enforcement personnel. The burn building, said Pohlschneider “is a search and rescue building. It can simulate, in a safe environment, some heat and smoke conditions using clean wood and straw.”

The bottom line is that the building is a fire training building. It will ultimately be available for use by multiple departments throughout the area, providing valuable training to keep firefighters safe.

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