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Crematory is Hot Topic for School Board

Jardine promises crematorium won't be used for outside clients

A came under scrutiny from the school board Thursday night as a resident and officials questioned potential hazards from mercury emissions.

But Jason Jardine said the crematory he is adding to is safe.

He also estimated it would be used fewer than 200 times a year -- and only for clients of Jardine's.  

George Grozan, a Hunting Meadows resident and member of the School Facilities Task Force, Jardine's plans to add to its Pearl Road business.

Grozan offered research that indicates emissions from heavy metals -- in particular, mercury from dental fillings -- can be hazardous.

He asked Jardine whether a third party had been brought in to evaluate the possible effects, and also whether he had looked into possible depreciation of surrounding properties.

Jardine said there was no need to bring in a third party, and that crematoriums do not affect surrounding property values.

"With the unknown, there is always room for concern," Jardine said.

But he said the new state-of-the-art equipment his business is buying does not pose a danger to the community.

The crematory was approved last week by the city's Planning Commission. City officials said they could find no documentation that crematories built in the last decade -- ones that use the most modern equipment -- pose a health hazard.

Board member Ruth Brickley asked why Jardine's was not planning to install a "scrubber" that would filter out mercury and other emissions. 

Jardine said scrubbers are "not normal or standard in the U.S.," only overseas. 

The city Planning Commission's approval cleared the way for construction of the crematory. Neither the school board nor City Council have a say in the issue.

Residents and school officials , near residential neighborhoods and adjacent to Strongsville High School and a 17-acre school-owned parcel that is the potential site of a proposed new middle school.

Ward 4 Councilman Scott Maloney, who serves on the Planning Commission, voted against the crematory.

Maloney said he is convinced the crematory is safe, but said a number of residents have told him they don't believe it belongs in the middle of town and should instead be in the industrial park.

lyn August 03, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Maybe building it adjoining Jason's house WOULD be good. Per county records, his lot is 150,848 sq. ft. - not much smaller than the funeral home lot which is 183,727 sq ft. And, since the city has no problem giving him the variances he wants - if any are needed, just give them to him. Remember, at the council meeting he had his neighbors come and say they had no problem with this body burner being built. So, build it by people who don't object to it, and by the home of the people who want to build it. I would definitely vote to have the property rezoned for this to happen. And, its located away from the busy area where people wouldn't drive by all the time.
John August 03, 2012 at 09:18 PM
To me common sense means if there is no solid evidence no health risks, then what is the issue? Seems to be a personal issue.
caloge August 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
There are numerous EPA limitations on the individual toxins that these units are capable of emitting, although there are no specific requirements to monitor the emissions from crematorium, therefore various assumptions are made when applying for permits. In addition for the same reasons, many of these units are not fitted with sensors capable of detecting toxin releases and/or fitted with filtration systems and/or scrubbers. The analysis I quoted above is a primary example of these assumptions providing invalid results. As Dr. Penkala stated in his analysis "To produce meaningful estimates of ambient concentrations, the modeling must start with credible estimates of emission rates of the process under evaluation.“
caloge August 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
I apologize for being blunt, but that is unfounded speculation as to why the EPA has not addressed this issue to date... If I were to speculate as to why the EPA has not addressed this issue as of yet it would be that the EPA is a government bureaucracy, which oftentimes takes many years to act or update regulations. (I have some first hand knowledge in this particular field. A prime example is the current OSHA requirements that site the 1968 ASME code, even though the ASME code has been updated every year since.) My speculation is based on the fact that a larger percentage cremations occur in the UK vs the US, the UK has had to adopt their legislation quicker (UK has 73.33% cremations vs. 40.62% in the US http://www.srgw.demon.co.uk/CremSoc4/Stats/National/2009/StatsNat.html & http://www.nfda.org/about-funeral-service-/trends-and-statistics.html).
lyn August 03, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Ah, there's that "personal issue" comment again that came from the likes of "J"ason and company. Personal issue - yes! We all live here - our health is personal. As YOU said no solid evidence, EITHER way. So, that DOES mean risk. Do you know what RISK means? It means a chance of something happening. In this case, chance of something really bad. WHY ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE THE CHANCE? The more comments you make, the more you prove our case. Keep going. Open mouth, insert foot.
caloge August 03, 2012 at 09:36 PM
This is far from a personal issue. I do not know the proponents of this issue. My primary concern is my 7 year old daughter. The fact is that these units emit numerous toxins. As I have referenced many times above, it is impossible to determine the risk this unit poses on our children without a third party independent engineering analysis performed! This facility should not be built until the analysis is performed.
lyn August 03, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I wonder how many future cancer cases in the surrounding area will be suspected as being caused by the body burner. And, I wonder how many resulting lawsuits regarding these cancer patients it will take to take this business down? Sometimes you think something will make you money, but it just might have the opposite effect. They have already created lots of bad PR. Word of mouth should be very important in that line of work. If your business is already going to suffer because of alienating your community, a few lawsuits will do you in for sure.
caloge August 03, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I can’t imagine the proponents of this crematory would disagree with allowing the city to perform a third party independent engineering analysis prior to construction. As I have read numerous times, they live in our community and share our same concerns for our children.
James Murphy August 03, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I AM FINE WITH THIS STATEMENT He also estimated it would be used fewer than 200 times a year -- and only for clients of Jardine's. COULD WE HAVE THAT IN WRITING AND AFTER 200 NO MORE TILL JAN 1ST
lyn August 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM
How will we know the number and if they are Jardine clients?
John August 03, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I guess we take a risk every day we leave our homes, drive out cars, step foot on an airliner for vacation, etc... But we do so because the preponderance of evidence does not show that these are dangerous. There is no evidence that these facilities are dangerous or risky. As far as making your case... I take exception. You have no case.
sville August 03, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Lyn, They must be afraid of something... why would they create a seperate LLC,, "Cleveland Cremations LLC",, to operate under. If in fact any health risks or environmental damage is discovered the LLC takes the hit and the Jardine family and funeral home are shielded from damages. The city issued the conditional use permit to Jardine Funeral Home,, why don't they operate as such?
caloge August 03, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I apologize if I'm unclear in what I am stating, as my background may be a bit more technical in nature than yours. The engineering analysis I referenced above is very specific to the unit that is being proposed in Strongsville. The 2011 analysis failed even after numerous errors were corrected. What is more troubling to me is that the author, Dr. Stanley Penkala, Ph.D., Qualified Environmental Professional (Q.E.P.) had major concerns regarding the data provided on the unit’s emission. He stated, “This is very sketchy information on which to evaluate any source. Whether a particular modeled concentration turns out to be lower or higher than the comparable screening concentration, we won’t know if that is because there is a real problem or because the assumed emission rate is erroneous.”. Therefore I am very unclear as to how you have reached your conclusion that "the preponderance of evidence does not show that these are dangerous.” Based on that analysis alone, I can’t imagine the proponents of this crematory would disagree with allowing the city to perform a third party independent engineering analysis prior to construction.
lyn August 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Known risks vs. Unknown risks. Just as you said at the meeting - "With the unknown, there is always room for concern". Can't you keep track of what you said - don't you realize you keep saying what we all are saying? Go ahead and build. You got the city to allow it. Live with the consequences. And so will we.
sville August 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Also, did you see their affiliation with a group called Life Legacy on the Cleveland Cremation website. If you donate your body to science through Life Legacy,,Cleveland Cremation (Jardine) does the cremation for free. Doesn't sound like it is limited to their own clients. I can only imagine the number of indigent souls that will now pass through Strongsville that would never have been connected before.
lyn August 03, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Good point! Hey city folks, did you read that? Are you reading any of this?
lyn August 03, 2012 at 10:42 PM
But only 200/ year he said! I'm sure they won't want many nonpaying folks if they keep to that number. Lets see if they keep to their word.
Tom Brennan August 03, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Common sense would mean that, in general, funeral homes are generally looked upon as a foundation of a community. The uproar this issue is causing is going to damage what was a solid reputation that the elder Jardines have created opver the decades.
John August 04, 2012 at 02:04 AM
I guess my EE with an MBA, in your eyes, makes me unable to grasp the technical concerns of your Dr. Stanley Penkala. I can get as technical as you like from a science perspective or as detailed as you like from a business perspective. I am amazed at individuals that want to match wits on specific topics and engage that process half prepared. Apples & Oranges here. If you are that convinced, produce the undisputed data, that is all I am trying to say. Your data is inconclusive and these businesses are still operational across the country with NO evidence of health issues.
lyn August 04, 2012 at 02:20 AM
So, Jason, are you willing to put what you've said publicly in writing - no more than 200 cremations/year and ONLY clients of Jardines - no outsourcing from other homes? Are you a man to be trusted?
lyn August 04, 2012 at 02:23 AM
It's hard to believe you have an MBA. Your posts lack the analytical thinking to have acquired one.
John August 04, 2012 at 02:38 AM
My EE makes me the analytical thinker. The MBA awards me the common sense to sepetate fact from fiction. Please show me the undisputed facts and I will retract my statements. The problem is there are none.
caloge August 04, 2012 at 03:21 AM
I have already provided sufficient scientific data to warrant a third party independent engineering analysis. I cannot provide a more “apples to apples comparison” than actual data on the proposed Mathews Power Pak II unit. This is based on actual test data. Why is it that you are so unwilling to let a third party expert weigh in on this matter? Are you unable to separate factual data regarding the exact cremation equipment in question versus your personal emotional feelings regarding this matter? The actual emissions data regarding this equipment is “is very sketchy information on which to evaluate any source.” , Dr. Stanley Penkala, Ph.D., Qualified Environmental Professional (Q.E.P.)
caloge August 04, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I have already provided sufficient scientific data to warrant a third party independent engineering analysis. I cannot provide a more “apples to apples comparison” than actual data on the proposed Mathews Power Pak II unit. This is based on actual test data. Why is it that you are so unwilling to let a third party expert weigh in on this matter? Are you unable to separate factual data regarding the exact cremation equipment in question versus your personal emotional feelings regarding this matter? The actual emissions data regarding this equipment is “is very sketchy information on which to evaluate any source.” , Dr. Stanley Penkala, Ph.D., Qualified Environmental Professional (Q.E.P.)
lyn August 04, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Well, John - will it be in writing?
George Grozan August 04, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Caloge and I created our document to provide factual information and structured questions that concerned us and many other parents. Every item is reference to data. Unless you are a Qualified Environmental Professional that is taking measurements and analyzing the data for our specific situation, you DO NOT have the proper information/education to make a conclusive decision. A few hours of research on the internet does not make me, you or anyone else an expert in anything. Dr. Stanley Penkala, Ph.D studied a case based on the Matthews Crematory Power Pak II for the Peters Township in the Pittsburg area. Is it not in the best interest of our children and community to hire him to analyze our situation?
John August 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM
So if someone else, with the same credentials or more ecoerience, provides conflicting data as non health concerns, where do we from there? I am not a Environmental Professional. I can not and do not base my opinion on scanning the Internet for 30 minutes, but I am a teakist
John August 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM
A realist. If there is not undisputed compelling data available, then it's time to default back to the original approvals of these sites across the country.
John August 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Enough is enough. I guess we can agree to disagree on this topic.
caloge August 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Unfortunately you cannot just “default back to the original approvals of these sites across the country”, because every site has differing essential variables that factor into the analysis. An engineering evaluation of a crematory located in an industrial area remote from potential exposure to high concentrations of people differs greatly from our case. Therefore, it is essential that a third party independent engineering analysis be performed based on our particular site.

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