Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Legal battle over, state wins clean-up costs for Ludington industrial site

$525,000 Settlement Reached

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment reached a settlement that secures re-imbursement of the costs incurred by the department to investigate contamination from the former Handy Things Manufacturing Company property in Ludington. The settlement with Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, the corporate successor to Handy Things Manufacturing, also requires the company to address existing soil and groundwater contamination at the site and includes provisions to prevent any unacceptable exposures to the contaminants.

Soil and groundwater in the area are contaminated with volatile organic compounds, chromium, zinc, cyanide, and other metal plating materials. The former Handy Things Manufacturing Company is one source of the contamination in this area, two others are Industrial Plating and Manufacturing, Inc., property (formerly known as the Ludington Plating Company), and Straits Steel and Wire Company property. Both properties are owned by Straits Steel and Wire.

The DNRE and Department of Attorney General are currently in negotiations with Straits Steel and Wire to reach a similar settlement regarding pollution that is attributable to them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ottawa River clean-up has begun

Approximately 260,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment is being removed from the Ottawa River and Sibley Creek in Toledo, OH. The project began on December 19th and it is estimated that it's going to cost us - me and you fellow taxpayer - $49 Million dollars. The goal of the project is to reduce impacts to human health and the environment on the Ottawa River. This is the eighth cleanup of a contaminated site under the Great Lakes Legacy Act.

Sediment in the river and creek is contaminated with a mixture of heavy metals, PCBs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons called PAHs. The sediment contamination in the Ottawa River is a key contributor to the fish advisories currently in place and limit the amount of fish that can be safely eaten.

During phase one of the project 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be removed from Sibley Creek, processed on-site to remove excess water and transported to the city of Toledo’s Hoffman Road Landfill for disposal. Sibley Creek is a 1.1-mile long tributary to the Ottawa River that enters the river about four miles upstream of the river mouth. The Sibley Creek work is expected to be completed by the end of January.

In April 2010 dredging of the main channel of the Ottawa River will begin. Some 245,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be removed. Dredging activities in the Ottawa River are expected to be completed by late 2010.

EPA is providing $24.5 million for the project through the Great Lakes Legacy Act. The Ottawa River Group, a consortium of private businesses in partnership with the city of Toledo, will provide the remaining $24.5 million. The city is providing space in its municipal landfill as their cost share.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunoco to Pay $173,310 for Air Quality Violations at Marcus Hook Refinery

Over in the NOT-SO-GREEN corner for the past year is Sunoco, which has ordered to pay $173,310 in penalties for pollution violations at its refinery in Marcus Hook, PA.

In May 2008 a broken boiler released 8.3 tons of carbon monoxide. Two incidents in June 2008 resulted in 18.1 tons of volatile organic compounds being released into the atmosphere, along with 1,300 gallons of oil. These incidents resulted in residential damage claims and odor complaints.

In December 2008, a compressor shutdown resulted in the release of 3.93 tons of nitrogen oxides and 8.09 tons of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.

Storage tank violations in June, September and November 2008 involved seal problems and an oil leak, which was NOT reported to the Pennsylvania Dept of Environmental Protection. Sunoco was also cited for failing to perform various inspections of instruments, tank hatches and ventilation systems.

So, let's continue to shine on a light Sunoco for a bit.

EPA Rules to Impact Manufacturers, Utilities

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two separate actions that could significantly impact several industries including power and water utilities.

The EPA has identified three industries — chemical manufacturing, petroleum and coal products manufacturing (including refineries and not coal mines), and the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry — that could face financial assurance requirements to ensure that the owners or operators of the facilities, not taxpayers, will be responsible for cleanups through the Superfund program.

Read the rest of this story here: EPA Rules to Impact Manufacturers, Utilities