Meetings Recap of LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel Dynamics Inc.)

January 12th, 2012

On January 12, 2012, the Allen County Drainage board had their beginning talks about reconstructing the Bandelier Ditch #3.  Abby Frost-King and Celia Garza specifically requested from different contacts within the Surveyors office, to be informed of the day they would begin conversations. We were not called about this first meeting. They explained that this was only the introduction of the project and that there would be additional meetings. The Drainage Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 9:30am in the Council courtroom Suite 035 in the Garden level of Citizens Square. The next meeting will be January 26, 2012 at 9:30am. If they continue to speak and plan for this ditch improvement, it is imperative that we all attend to share our opinions…even though we have been informed that there will be a “public hearing” after the plans are in place and THEN the public who live in the area will be able to comment on their findings.

Save Maumee had attended the last Allen County Drainage Board meeting of 2011.  We requested the review of the restructuring of Bandilier Ditch #3, since it seemed necessary to do this work before LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel Dynamics owned) is built on this partial floodplain.  In addition, they would be required to install a retention pond on the property, to aid draining and storage of water. Originally, the “restructuring” of the ditch was, to our understanding, necessary for the new copper facility to be built. In previous meetings we understood that LaFarga was to pay for the restructuring of the Bandilier Ditch #3 and no plans had yet been designed.

1) Who is paying to restructure Bandilier Ditch #3?
2) If it is Allen County citizens, why is the drainage board planning to restructure this ditch at this time…rather than 2 years ago, or next year?

The residents of New Haven have been in a state of unrest since Steel Dynamics Inc. announced their intention of moving a copper processing plant into the community. On April 27, 2011 officials of Omni -Source and Superior Aluminum held a meeting in which they spoke with residents about this investment. After listening to complaints from neighboring citizens, they realized the primary concern is a combination of pollutants coming from a new plant, as well as an existing plant (all owned by Steel Dynamics) called Superior Aluminum. A plant that neighbors have experienced previous problems with pungent odors and colorful metallic scented emissions. The EPA regulated ambient air monitors that determine pollutant levels to be compliant with the NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards) in Allen County are located 7.4-10 miles upwind of where the two plants will be located. This fact left little comfort to those that live within the area and whose health and property would be negatively impacted by additional emissions. Residents shared this knowledge with President Mark Milet and former CEO Keith Busse on October 18, 2011. They compromised by telling everyone at the meeting, they were going to install a spot light on the smoke stack for nighttime view and process monitors (which were described as being only video cameras). They also extended an invitation to the community to tour the new plant when it’s completed. At this time, a date has not been released for a tour of the new facility, and the company has not yet installed a spot light or video camera to their smoke stacks on Superior Aluminum.

An appeal has been filed on the air permit for the SDI LaFarga LLC copper processing plant. The hearings with the Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA) began on December 19, 2011. Evidence will be presented and expert witnesses will appear at future hearings to ensure that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) properly reviewed and approved the air permit for the SDI LaFarga copper plant. Investigation will continue until the OEA comes to a verdict. For more information, or if you live in the area and want to become involved, please e-mail


2011 Tribute to our local Rivers

December 29th, 2011

We wanted to commemorate our achievements for Save Maumee’s “Organization of the Year 2011” presented to us at Butler University by Hoosier Environmental Council.

So, if you would like to see why we were chosen for the award, check out our video with local musicians Elephants in Mud.

ALL pictures in the video were taken in 2011 ~ Click on the picture!

Save Maumee Work 2011

“” coverage of Save Maumee’s Award

December 23rd, 2011


The Lowdown: Save Maumee grassroots group named environmental “Organization of the Year” in Indiana

Fort Wayne is known for its three rivers — the St. Joesph River, St. Marys River and the Maumee River — but who is protecting them?

The answer is Save Maumee.

Save Maumee was honored in early December by the Hoosier Environmental Council as the “Organization of Year” for empowering the people of Fort Wayne to protect the extensive waterways by doing projects, events and legislation.

Click here to see a photo gallery of Save Maumee initiatives.

Founder of Save Maumee, Abigail King, started the grassroots organization in 2005 to raise awareness of the conditions of the three rivers and develop restoration projects to make sure the rivers are healthy.

“I just started paying attention and reading about the rivers after we moved into a house near the river. The things I dug up in the river horrified me, and many people I talked to didn’t know what was wrong with the waterways. Many times with the government, it seems like one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. I wanted to find out what was wrong with the rivers, and by 2005, I knew I couldn’t just sit here and complain; someone need to do something,” King said.

As of December 2011, Save Maumee has cleaned up 11 tons of trash, planted more than 1,500 trees, spread 800 pounds of seed and fixed 16,000 pounds of erosion. Each item planted and cleaned is done entirely by volunteers.

“We are all volunteer based. So we try to do what we can,” King said. “I hate to always feel like I’m preaching to the choir, because those [volunteers] are already the people that are [cleaning the rivers]. Now we want to reach those people who aren’t aware.”

Kim Ferraro, director of agriculture and water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council, said Save Maumee was awarded “Organization of the Year” because of the support the group is able to garner from the community.

“It’s all volunteer, and that in itself is amazing. They’ve done river cleanup projects and other physical work, and we were real impressed that an all-volunteer group could have such a great impact,” Ferraro said.

The council selects the winner based on a list they compile of outstanding environmental organizations from around the state. Then, by internal vote, they choose the winner.

“Their efforts demonstrated there is growing awareness throughout our state about the significant issues that we face. You wouldn’t think of Indiana as being a progressive pro-environmental protection state, but Save Maumee is an example that our state does care.”

The group is best known for hosting one of the city’s most popular annual Earth Day events: Save Maumee Earth Day.

Click here to watch a video of last year’s Save Maumee Earth Day celebration.

But no one ever said it was an easy job keeping an eye on three major rivers in a city with a population of 325,000-plus people, and Save Maumee is not done.

In fact, it has a lot in store for next year.

In 2012, Save Maumee is taking its group to the United States capital to solicit legislative action.

With hopes of educating public officials about the importance of the Great Lakes, Save Maumee is going to Washington, D.C., in late February to represent Northeast Indiana for Clean Water Week during Great Lakes Days.

Here are a few other initiatives Save Maumee hopes to bring to light in 2012:

  • Enforce current laws.
  • Support legislation that protects natural areas.
  • Review permits for corporations and stronger oversight and enforcement of permits. If fines are levied when a company discharges beyond allowed permit effluent, the monies can be utilized to improve water quality for human health.
  • Establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL’s) for the Maumee in Indiana, and complete the Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan so the community knows the priorities of the waterways.
  • Develop rules to regulate livestock waste as a fertilizer material but do not take into account the pathogens in manure. It is important in disclosing information on when, where and how much manure is land-applied to Indiana fields, and note it will have allowances to spread manure on frozen fields. All this will allow more runoff into the waterways.

For more information on Save Maumee visit their website or Facebook page.

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Save Maumee Grassroots Org. wins “Organization of the Year Award”

December 7th, 2011

Awards Ceremony at The 4th Annual Greening the Statehouse Policy Forum will be held on Saturday, December 10th at Butler University’s Reilly Room at Atherton Union in downtown Indy from 8:30am-3pm.  So join us for education from Indianapolis policy experts and environmental groups. For reservations call Jesse Karbanda at 317.685.8800 ext. 103

The Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization, has claimed “Save Maumee won Organization of the Year!”  Abigail King, Ryan Bailey and Jain Young will be accepting the award for the group. Supporters of the day include Sierra Club, Blue Green Alliance, Carmel Green Initiative, Indiana Green Business Network, Indiana Recycling Coalition, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Save the Dunes, City of Indianapolis-Office of Sustainability.

Save Maumee has been chosen as a result of the positive impact on the community, the group’s great volunteer spirit, passion for the health of the rivers in the Great Lakes region, and ability to organize a number of very successful volunteer driven river clean-up and restoration events.

Northeast Indiana Rivers Represented in Washington D.C.

Save Maumee has been chosen by Healing Our Waters to represent Northeast Indiana for Clean Water Week during Great Lakes Days in Washington, D.C. The event will be held Feb. 28-29.

Every year, more than 125 citizens from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin travel to our nation’s capital to educate public officials about the importance of the Great Lakes to the region’s economy and quality of life.

Needed Action for Congressmen discussion;

* Enforce current laws

* Support legislation that protects natural areas.

* Proper review of permits for corporations and stronger oversight and enforcement of permits. If fines are levied when a company discharges beyond allowed permit effluent, the monies can be utilized to truly improve water quality for human health.

*  Indiana HB 1112 was passed and July 1st 2012 manufacturing waste (considered hazardous and illegal to discharge into the air or water), will now be added to soil and consider the soil to be “amended,” a.k.a. better than it was before.

 *  Tiles, straight pipes and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) outlets should be properly counted and available to the public on Indiana & Allen County GIS maps.

* Establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL’s) for the Maumee in Indiana, and complete the Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan so the community knows the priorities of our waterways.

* Rules being developed by the Indiana State Chemist will regulate livestock waste as a fertilizer material, but do not take into account the pathogens in manure. It is important in disclosing information on when, where, and how much manure is land applied to Indiana fields, and note it will have allowances to spread manure on frozen fields.  All this will allow more runoff into our waterways.

Save Maumee wants to see ALL people come together to improve the quality of Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers and thirty-four million that depend on the Maumee River, downstream. All these issues have workable solutions.


Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions of the 3 Rivers in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while facilitating ecosystem restoration projects to improve water quality. Revitalizing the St. Joe/Maumee Watershed will protect and restore the environment, while improving the economic, aesthetic and recreational value. Research into historical importance of our navigable waterways and current pollution conditions began in 2001 and Save Maumee began bank-stabilization projects in 2005. To date Save Maumee has planted over 1,500 trees, 800lbs of native riparian seed and removed 22,000 lbs of trash on volunteer hours and in-kind donations alone.


River Network explains the Clean Water Act

November 28th, 2011

 Currently, the Upper Maumee drains (the first half of the Maumee that headwaters in downtown Fort Wayne from Combined & Sanitary Sewer Overflows

urban culvertRain and snowmelt discharged from combined stormwater and sewer systems can cause serious pollution in rivers and lakes in urban areas. These sewer systems were designed to capture and treat both domestic wastewater as well as stormwater runoff. But in many places development has increased beyond the capacity of combined sewer systems which causes them to periodically overflow, sending raw sewage into surface water bodies (combined sewer overflows). In areas where stormwater drains were never connected with the sanitary sewer system, raw sewage overflows can result from substantial amounts of water leaking into old pipes, pipe blockages, pipe breaks, power failures or insufficient capacity in the system. Such overflows are called sanitary sewer overflows.

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are leading causes of water quality impairment across the country. The EPA states that only 32 percent of communities with CSOs are implementing the minimum controls, despite a January 1997 deadline. Only 19 percent have completed their plans for controlling CSOs, and fewer than 10 percent have finished implementing CSO controls. The EPA estimates that 1,260 billion gallons of raw sewage from CSO discharges flow into our surface waters every year.

The overflows carry pollutants, including soil and grease, chemicals, nutrients, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses and oxygen-consuming substances. Some discharges into the system are illicit and may include used motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Throughout the country, necessary (but costly) structural improvements and better management practices are being required by the EPA to eliminate the overflows.

In Fort Wayne we have 42 discharge points that discharge on average 71 times per year.  The EPA allows 4 per year.  The “Long Term Control Plan” is Fort Wayne’s 17 year plan to reduce the sewage into local streams. You can find it here!

Using the Clean Water Act

NPDES point source permits

NPDES permits are required for combined sewer systems and sanitary sewer systems that experience overflows. These permits usually lay out compliance schedules for reducing raw sewage discharge. Find out what your state is doing about combined sewer systems and leaking sanitary sewer systems that experience overflows. Ask questions about monitoring and compliance. Citizen monitoring can identify problems and direct agency attention. Stormwater NPDES requirements to improve management of stormwater volumes can contribute to the CSO/SSO solution.

Water quality standards

Identify the existing and designated uses downstream of combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows. Which uses are the most sensitive to pollution from the overflows? To protect those uses, identify water quality criteria for bacteria, heavy metals, petroleum byproducts (PAHs), pesticides, fertilizer, bioaccumulative toxic pollutants, sediment (total suspended solids), habitat, stream flow and biology. Evaluate whether the criteria are stringent enough to protect existing and designated uses.

303(d) impaired waters list

Do the waters downstream of combined sewer overflows or sanitary sewer overflows in your watershed support uses and meet water quality criteria? If not, or if they are threatened by CSOs or SSOs, make sure they are on the 303(d) list for the appropriate pollutants, problems and threats.

Total Maximum Daily Loads

Is there a TMDL scheduled or in progress in your watershed? Are CSOs and SSOs included as sources of the impairments? Have changes to the permits, compliance schedules and proposed construction been included in the TMDL implementation plan? If not, encourage your agency to include them.

Section 319 nonpoint source control

This section of the Clean Water Act authorizes money to the states for projects that address nonpoint source pollution. In recent years, 319 money has been available to some municipalities to develop their stormwater program. Ask your state water quality agency about how to apply for a 319 grant to reduce stormwater problems in your watershed, especially those that contribute to CSOs or SSOs.

Using other laws

Safe Drinking Water Act

Is the surface water or groundwater downstream of CSOs or SSOs used or designated for drinking? If so, it is likely that drinking water concerns will provide leverage to ensure CSOs and SSOs are addressed expeditiously. Identify the risks and talk to the agency in charge of developing the Source Water Assessment for your watershed. Be sure that the CSO and SSO risks to drinking water sources are included in the assessment and considered by your drinking water provider.

Endangered Species Act

Are there threatened or endangered species in your watershed? If so, you have another tool to pressure for the elimination of CSOs and SSOs. The Endangered Species Act prohibits any activity that would result in harmful impacts to the species or its habitat.

website and previous information found here:

IDEM Public Comment Letter for Steel Dynamics Inc. new copper plant

September 20th, 2011

September 19, 2011

This letter is to be included for the public comment period on SDI LaFarga, LLC’s air permit #003-30250-00384

We believe there is a compliance violation with Steel Dynamics’ operation at Superior Aluminum located on 14214 Edgerton rd. (326 IAC 6-4 Rule on Fugitive Dust).  We can provide video evidence to both the EPA and IDEM to prove the need for an investigation. 

IDEM referred us to information about current and expected air pollution levels at and directed us towards a map of the air quality monitors around the area. After digging for a time, I was unable to locate a map that showed anything but the monitors around nation. It is difficult to tell if the ones in our area are located in Allen County, IN.  Our area of concern is around Edgerton, Ryan, Dawkins, Bruick, Harper, Roussey, Bremer, Berthauld, Webster, Parent, Slusher Roads, and US 24.


In the 326 IAC 2-1.1-5 it reads. The commissioner shall not issue a registration, permit, modification approval, or operating permit revision:

(1)   would allow a source to cause or contribute to a violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards;

(2)   would allow a violation of a PSD maximum allowable increase;

(3)   do not assure compliance with all applicable air pollution control rules, except as provided by an enforceable compliance schedule; or

(4)   are not protective of the public

(b) The commissioner may require any source to perform an air quality analysis to demonstrate compliance with the NAAQS (Air Pollution Control Board; 326 IAC 2-1.1-5; filed Nov 25, 1998, 12:13pm:22 IR 990)

We are formally requesting that the commissioner require that an air quality analysis be completed to demonstrate compliance. The current levels of emissions in this area are unknown by the EPA, IDEM, and the general public. This information should encourage the need for an air quality analysis so that EPA and IDEM will have a benchmark number to show current levels before the operation begins with LaFarga.  These numbers can be used in the future to show an upward or downward trend of pollutants and confirm they are complying with NAAQS. We feel as though a new operation downwind from an existing polluter (Superior Aluminum Inc.) will contribute greatly to the current emission levels in the area of concern; this would not be protective of public health.

FESOP (Federally Enforceable State Operating Permit) reads under Source Definition; We are concerned this company only lists the following plants:

(a)    SDI LaFarga, LLC is located at 1640 South Ryan Rd, New Haven, Indiana 46774, Plant ID: 003-00384; and

(b)   Superior Aluminum is located at 14214 Edgerton Road, New Haven, Indiana, 46774, Plant ID: 003-00286

Steel Dynamics also has ownership of Omni Source, which is not listed as being part of the company. I would assume that if it was required for them to include Superior Aluminum as part of the company based on ownership, then Omni Source would also need to be included as being part of the company, listed under Source Definition.



SDI is paying out of pocket to move the Bandelier (#3) Ditch.  The NEW ditch will begin on Dawkins Rd., run north on Ryan Rd. and moves east on Edgerton Rd.   SDI chose to build LaFarga on and around a floodplain. Their watershed will be draining into the extended portion of the new ditch. This non-point source discharge into the ditch will then flow directly into the Maumee. This water is not being monitored.  The Maumee River remains on the 303 (d) list for impaired waterways.


Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is concerned about the lack of NPDES permits and that Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI / LaFarga LLC.)

According to data from EPA’s Permit Compliance System (as of December 2006), there are approximately 1800 major dischargers and 5000 total dischargers that have NPDES permit limits or monitoring requirements for total recoverable copper. There are over 400 major dischargers that have NPDES permit limits or monitoring requirements for dissolved copper.

Steel Dynamics has continually stated they will not be applying for an NPDES or any other straight pipe discharge permits. However, the quality of the water in Bandelier ditch (#3) will be seriously compromised if it is moved along side LaFarga, Superior Aluminum, Casad Depot, Pace Setter Finishing, and Plastics Materials of Indiana Inc. There will still be non-point source pollution and run-off water from all their impervious surfaces which will undoubtedly add trace amounts of toxic chemicals into the ditch which then drains into the Maumee River.
Until these issues are addressed with a formal investigation of Steel Dynamics Inc., to demonstrate compliance with all federal and state regulations and criteria, the company SDI LaFarga, LLC should not be considered for an air permit.

We would like IDEM to take serious reconsideration of the area chosen for this new operation. The ambient wind direction, SDI paying to move Bandelier ditch (#3), the impact of pollutants on the quality of water/air/soil around rural farm land and private wells, the current complaints levied against another SDI company, and the impact on the health of those who live near by and downwind, should all be taken into consideration when your final decision is made. I am requesting that you deny SDI LaFarga, LLC from obtaining an air permit.

SIGNED BY 23 people ~

Citizens’ Questions that NEED to be Answered

September 20th, 2011

On September 15th, 2011 IDEM held a public meeting to address the air permits being issued for Steel Dynamics Inc.
59 people were in attendance and spoke of fear of pollution from Superior Aluminum, and did not want to have air permits approved for the new LaFarga copper plant.

We have included the questions (below are citizens’ questions) that were NOT answered during this 4 hour meeting and we are requesting they are answered for the health of the public OR deny SDI’s air permit request.


  • Who will watchdog any monitors that are placed? How often will they be monitored? (heavy metals, particulate matter, )
  • How are we to be assured that SDI will conform to the Federal Clean Air Act?
  • If these regulations are not followed, what is the consequence to the business?
  • What fines are associated with non-compliance? public hearing/ legal action / law suit applicable?
  • If a fine were levied, where would the money go?
  • Can we test the air now BEFORE this plant goes up and then AFTER the plant is in operation if air permit is granted? (benchmark)
  • If there is something in existence of what is upwind and downwind to monitor the air quality…so is it better/worse upwind/downwind?
  • Where are the other monitors in existence around our area.  The website given by IDEM does not seem to contain specifics of location.
  • If the current levels downwind exceed the NAAQS, will the permit be issued for the new plant?
  • Can the combination of toxins from the SDI LaFarga Copper plant and the SDI Superior Aluminum Plant mix together to create something worse? Like a supertoxin?
  • Were any exemptions awarded for any of the “6 criteria pollutants” or any others reported with IDEM and EPA?
  • IF any exemptions were granted, what part of the process of the approval be challenged?
  • What is the AVERAGE limit of air pollution LaFarga Copper plant expect to emit?  How did they get their preliminary findings since this will be the “first copper plant of it’s kind, except for the one in Spain”? Who did the testing and were the tests paid for by SDI?
  • If something technical or human error occurs, what backup system (in case of emergency) is in place to ensure no additional harmful pollutants will escape?  What monitor would they have, if any, that would keep track of the number of emissions released during a break down, whether technical or human error?
  • Where will the waste from the bag houses be deposited?
  • Will any violations cause the exemptions to be revoked?


  • How will relocation/expansion of the Bandelier Ditch (#3) affect the storm sewer/sanitary sewer?
  • If any pollutants are being discharged into this ditch, what is being monitored or recorded and reported? Where will this information be available?
  • Will their be a long term control plan for CSO’s where the sanitary /storm sewers are to be installed completely separate per the Clean Water Act and City of Fort Wayne Long Term Control Plan?
  • Will SDI be responsible for testing runoff or non-point source pollutants from the two facilities that will be located .6 mile from each other?
  • Will this plant will have a retention pond or a detention pond? CONFIRMING THERE WILL BE NO NPDES PERMIT?
  • Where will the waste water from the bag houses be deposited?
  • Does the pond fall under Rule 5 of the IAC 326 for surface water if there are no chemicals going into it? Where are the reports found for Waterways of the U.S.?
  • Please submit the blueprint/schematics for the ditch/direction of the ditch for discharge into New Haven as a straight pipe OR to Fort Wayne Filtration Plant?
  • How many gallons of water per month will be used at the new copper plant? Will the water be purchased from City of Fort Wayne or a well be drilled?
  • There are 22 who have attended a local community meetings who are on wells within 3 miles of the plant.  How will their well water supply be directly effected?
  • Do you know the current levels of heavy metals in these wells?
  • Where are the reports or monitoring that will test water quality upstream and downstream?
  • How much water is used in the process of making 1 ton (2,000lbs) of steel? 1 ton of copper? 1 ton of aluminum?

What are the current levels of Mercury and Lead in the soil surrounding the plant and the properties most affected by current emission.

Farm land and home owners properties must be included.

JOIN US for FREE River Loving FUN!

September 16th, 2011

Upcoming Events:    ALL events are rain or shine ~

SATURDAY ~ September 17, 2011-  Save Maumee’s 4th Annual Canoe Clean Up, Can YOU Clean Up? 
11am- 4pm Free canoes for the day at Fort Wayne Outfitters Bike Depot with ID.  Spend a fun day with family and friends on the river cleaning up and educating yourself! First come first serve Canoe Clean-Up Details HERE

SATURDAY ~ October 22nd, 2011- Save Maumee’s 3rd Annual Seed Harvest at Fox Island Nature Preserve
1pm – 4pm, Come pick seeds that we will plant on our riverbanks for Earth Day 2012  Seed Harvest Details HERE

Friday Sept. 30th and Saturday Oct. 1st.  ~ Northeastern Indiana Sustainable Living Fair and Market held downtown Grabill, IN
Free attendance and if you would like to be a vendor or speaker please contact Julia Gorrell at or 260-418-0071
Friday Sept. 30th, Save Maumee’s Founder will be speaking~exact time will be updated the website here!

Other Recent Events:

**Save Maumee Grassroots Org. appreciates the recreational fun on the St. Joseph and St. Mary’s thanks to Friends of the River!  In 2011 Three Rivers Festival had its first local river event since I attended Northrop High School.  Progress is being made and there are truly reasons to celebrate.  Let us reflect on ways to truly improve our local Three Rivers to benefit all citizens in Fort Wayne.

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization’s 2nd Annual Berlin Music Pub Benefit Show Was VERY FUN! Thank you to all the dedicated people who made this day possible!       
Presented by BMP Pro & TME
The SumMorz – 10pm
Taylor Fredricks – 8:30pm
To The Point – 7pm
Azraels Revenge – 5:30pm
Selenium – 4pm
Corey Rhymez – 12:30am
11M12D – 12am
Twisted Aversion V1.0 – 1am
The 6 Foot Maniac
Count Grootmaniac – 1:30-2am

WHAT ELSE: Featured Pudding Wrestling, Live Music All Day Long, Games, Prizes, Drawings, An Evening Cookout, Acoustic Performances Throughout The Day!  It was interesting that I received an email that said it was vulgar and sexist that we were having pudding wrestling….well, just so you know the only people that got splatted with pudding was Save Maumee’s own Ryan Bailey and Abigail Frost-King! If you missed it…you really missed it! HA HA!

*Fort Wayne Local Bands Come Together For A Great Cause & To Give Back To Its City, With A Mix Of Rock, Metal, HipHop, Alternative, Punk, Acoustic, & Cover Tunes ALL DAY LONG!

THURSDAY – September 15th, 2011 at 5:30pm ~ IDEM (Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management) held a public meeting to discuss air permitting for Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) All statements will be considered to make a decision whether to issue or deny the permit. IF you would like to make a comment it NEEDS to be postmarked before Monday night at midnight or email Doug Wagner before midnight at or call him at 317-233-2629

***Concerns from citizens have risen due to  Steel Dynamics Inc. applying for air quality permits for its new copper rod production facility in New Haven that will create 35 jobs.  Remember: What goes up into the air, must come down…into our waterways and land.  Based on equipment capacity, IDEM  permit will allow this one plant to release; 71,703 tons of greenhouse gases, 88 tons of particulate matter, 68 tons of volatile organic chemicals, 66 tons of nitric oxides, 23 tons of sulfur oxides, 9 tons of hydrochloric acid, and nearly 4 tons of formaldehyde and 1.2 tons of hexane. So COME TO THE MEETING (above) (Journal Gazette, “SDI joint venture applies for air permit”)

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “Copper plant plans gathering opposition”
EPA-Steel Dynamics on clean-air violations
Full Draft Permit – 143pgs.

~  Save Maumee’s 6th Annual Earth Day 2011 was a GREAT SUCCESS!  ~  CLICK HERE FOR OUR FUNNY VIDEO!


Watch our Earth Day Video from 2010!

Watch Save Maumee’s 2011 PSA

Thank you for your continued support ~ Help us to speak for your rivers!


Abigail Frost-King

Save Maumee Grassroots Organization Founder
Watershed Expert
Indiana Master Naturalist

Save Maumee is a 100% citizen driven, volunteer, environmental restoration group that works to improve the Maumee River in Fort Wayne through work and awareness raising; To have a positive impact on the 24 million people who depend on clean water downstream…We all live downstream!
Facebook – OUR NEW PAGE – hope you LIKE us!
A Greener Indiana

U.S. Army helps Save the Maumee!

July 31st, 2011

July 16th 2011– United States National Guard helped Save the Maumee River! Lead by Staff Sergeant Grimm and Sergeant Michele Berkes-Adams along with a medic and 20 recruits removed large items in the Maumee River in Riverhaven, (a three mile stretch between Fort Wayne and New Haven). – The U.S. Army works on “green drills” several times a year and had chosen to help Save Maumee!  Items removed include a teddy bear, 10 tires and assorted car parts, steel drums, a sump pump, 2 children pools. Hats off to the men and women who keep us safe through cleaning up the large items that nobody else can remove without being put in harms way! Canoes were provided by Fort Wayne Outfitters/Bike Depot and Earth Adventures; two competitors working together to improve our rivers.

 img_7202.JPGAnyone missing a Teddy Bear?

Here are two seperate stories from the Journal Gazette!

Troops attack Maumee trash

– Ten tires, two kiddie pools, a sump pump, a microwave and a doll head were among items collected by Staff Sgt. David Grimm’s Indiana Army National Guard team Saturday afternoon in the Maumee River.

As part of the National Guard’s nationwide Guard the Environment campaign, Grimm’s troops collected trash – 40 bags’ worth – along the river from near the Wells Street Bridge to the Thomas L. Deetz Nature Preserve in New Haven.

The cleanup crew included about 20 new enlistees in the recruitment sustainment unit, a preparatory stage before basic training and boot camp.

Sgt. Nathan King also participated in the five-hour effort, which started at the river banks near Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot on Saturday morning. He said the service project “shows that we’re growing as a community to help the families” of Fort Wayne appreciate the city’s three rivers.

“This is definitely one of the things the community wants to see,” he said. “It’s unifying, for one thing.”

Grimm said the river sweep also provided a valuable experience for his troops, many of whom are still learning basic skills and courtesies.

“It’s a way to give back to the community before the community gives back to them,” he said.

The National Guard unit first heard about the volunteer opportunity when one of its members, Sgt. Michele Berkes-Adams, became involved with Save the Maumee, a local river advocacy group.

She said the city economy could benefit from cleaner rivers, especially with businesses such as the Depot promoting river recreation.

But Abigail Frost-King, Save the Maumee’s founder, is hesitant to declare victory. She said she encountered some obstacles as she tried to organize the cleanup.

For example, she said Fort Wayne city government refused to provide a Dumpster for easy disposal of the extracted trash because Kreager Park, the project’s approximate end point, is not within city limits. She also noted the state Department of Natural Resources will provide garbage-collecting boats only twice a year.

Regardless, she praised Grimm’s troops for fulfilling a dirty task most workers avoid at all costs.

“No one else is cleaning up the waterways,” Frost-King said.

Published: July 16, 2011 3:00 a.m.

Guard recruits help clean the Maumee

If you see soldiers in canoes Saturday floating down the Maumee River, don’t panic. It’s not an invasion, but rather a war on trash.

They are recruits with the Indiana Army National Guard, performing a community service project under the direction of Staff Sgt. David Grimm of Detachment 1, Company A of the Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

The soldiers have not yet gone on to basic combat training, or “boot camp,” but are still looking to serve their community. And this weekend, that’s cleaning up the Maumee River in an effort to help out the non-profit organization, Save the Maumee.

Using canoes from Fort Wayne Outfitters and other organizations, the soldiers will float down the river from Fort Wayne Outfitters, near Wells Street in downtown Fort Wayne, and heading east toward Kreiger Park, Grimm said.

Along the way, they’ll pick up trash and clean up what they can, he said.

Every three months or so, Grimm takes his soldiers out to perform a “green” community service project such as ripping out invasive shrubberies at Allen County’s Fox Island Park.

“We just feel that the community does so much for us, and it’s kind of like our small little token to give back,” Grimm said.

In his opinion, Fort Wayne is one of the most military-friendly communities in the country and it is important for the soldiers to contribute to it, he said.

“They’ve done so much for us, and we’re trying to help in every little way we can,” he said.

OR see all our pictures from the day on Facebook HERE: By Save Maumee’s Photographer Dana Jinx

Botulism Report of Dead Birds still relevent

July 7th, 2011

From the Emmet County Lakeshore Association Fall 2010 Newsletter:

During the fall of 2007 there was an estimated 8,000 – 10,000 water birds that were believed to have died from botulism poisoning along the northern Lake Michigan shoreline.  These water birds included loons, gulls, and all ducks, local and migratory in Lake Michigan.  

There is the chain of events leading up to the botulism toxin poisoning of sea birds:

1) Botulism is naturally occurring on the lake bottom.
2) Mats of Cladophora algae (the same algae that is thick along the Lake Michigan beach) are believed to be caused by clearer water, caused by the invasive zebra and quagga mussels’ filtration of plankton from the water and from the mussels’ excretions causing the fertilization of the algae.  These mats create an anaerobic condition on the lake floor which causes the botulism to produce a toxin.
3) The toxin is ingested by the mussels.
4) The invasive mussels are then eaten by the invasive round goby fish.
5) The dead round goby fish float to the surface and are eaten by sea birds.
6) The toxin causes a paralysis and the birds die from drowning or exposure.

Male Mallard Duck on the Maumee River

This past Summer of 2010 there were reports of dead Round Gobies washing up on shore.  This Fall there have been several reports of sea bird die-offs.  Mark Breederland of Michigan Sea Grant reported 25+ dead Red-Necked Grebes in the vicinity of Brevort River in Mid September. Based on these reports, it is believed that it could be another year of botulism deaths of fish eating birds migrating along Lake Michigan. If dead birds are found DO NOT touch with bare hands to dispose of the carcass.  Dead birds should be handled with gloved hands and can be placed in garbage bag for disposal or buried with a shovel.  PLEASE check the birds leg to see if it is banded.  CALL 906-370-1231 if it has a band on its leg.