Sheryl Barr

February 12, 2019

Abandoned Brooklyn gas station blamed for L-train smell contaminated area for decades

Source:, February 11, 2019
By: Clayton Guse

The defunct Brooklyn gas station thought to be the source of last week’s noxious smell on the L train has contaminated local groundwater for decades.

Over the 17 years between 1989 and 2006, the owners of the station at 2 Bushwick Ave., reported five chemical spills to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, public records show.

Gasoline spills in April 1989, January 1992 and January 1999 affected the local groundwater, and another gasoline spill in 2006 seeped into the soil, records show. The records don’t show how much gas was involved in the four spills.

A fifth spill in May 1989 dumped 20 gallons of gasoline into the local sewer system, the data shows.

Representatives from NYC Transit’s environmental and security divisions told the Daily News last week that a fuel tank abandoned at the former Shell outlet in East Williamsburg was the likely culprit of the stench that nauseated riders and hospitalized transit workers.

February 11, 2019

New Beazley Environmental Liability Coverage Targets Banks, Lenders

Source:, February 11, 2019

Specialist insurer Beazley has launched site lender environmental asset protection (SLEAP) cover to protect banks and other lenders from pollution risks that could seriously impair the value of property used as collateral for commercial loans.

In the event of both a loan default and the discovery of environmental contamination on a property, the policy will cover either the estimated clean-up costs or the loan balance, whichever is lower. The policy also pays clean-up costs for environmental contamination at properties owned by the lender as the result of a foreclosure.

In addition, the coverage protects the lender against third party claims for clean-up, bodily injury, property damage, and defense costs associated with the collateral property at all stages of a commercial loan and regardless of whether the loan is in default.…

February 11, 2019

Strategically preparing for construction professional liability risk

Source:, February 11, 2019
By: Walter J. Adams, Jr.

February 8, 2019

San Francisco gas explosion shoots fire that burns buildings

Source:, February 6, 2019

A gas explosion in a San Francisco neighborhood shot flames into the air for hours Wednesday and burned five buildings, sending panicked residents and workers fleeing into the streets.

It took utility crews more than two hours to put out the fire after private construction workers cut a natural gas line, igniting the towering flames, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said. Authorities initially said five workers were missing, but the entire construction crew was found safe, and no other injuries were reported.

Officials evacuated several nearby buildings, including a medical clinic and apartment buildings, Hayes-White said. Vehicles on a busy street got rerouted as authorities cordoned off the bustling retail and residential neighborhood.

The fire damaged a building housing Hong Kong Lounge II, a popular dim sum restaurant frequented by tourists and students at the University of San Francisco that made many “best of” lists.…

February 8, 2019

Builder of collapsed FIU pedestrian bridge had troubling construction failure at Port Everglades

Source:, February 6, 2019
By: Dan Christensen

Two months after last year’s fatal FIU pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami, the company that built the bridge was responsible for a troubling construction failure at Port Everglades.

Munilla Construction Management LLC, which operates as MCM, was hired by Broward County in 2016 as the prime contractor for the Slip 2 expansion project at the north end of the port. The $18-million project, completed in August 2017, saw low-bidder MCM extend the length of the slip about 250 feet to the west and deepen it 50 feet to accommodate larger cruise and cargo ships.

Last May 4, however, something unexpected happened.

“One of the new fenders that MCM installed along Berth 4 fell off the wall this morning and into the Slip,” a port representative told an MCM manager in an email obtained by Florida Bulldog.  “We have already fished it out, and brought it back over to the storage yard, and temporarily hung a tire in that vicinity…This is now causing the Port to be concerned about the other fenders that MCM installed.”…

February 7, 2019

Oil cleanup continues after 200,000 gallon spill at Granite City plant

Source:, February 6, 2019
By: Denise Hollinshed

Cleanup continued Wednesday here after 200,000 gallons of used oil spilled from a company’s storage tanks, a portion of it contaminating nearby ground and the city sewer system, the Illinois Environment Protection Agency said.

The spill prompted the agency to seek an order banning storage of oil at the Future Environmental plant at 2101 Adams Street.

The agency said 500 to 1,000 gallons of the spilled oil escaped the plant’s secondary containment barrier. The oil was released from above-ground tanks at the facility, the Illinois EPA said. The spill was noticed when oil was spotted at a wastewater treatment plant.

“Absorbent booms were placed in the sewers and there is no impact to operations at the (treatment plant),” the agency said in a statement.

Some of the oil also reached a dirt-floor warehouse on a neighboring property, the agency said. The agency didn’t say what caused the spill or if it posed any health risks.…

February 7, 2019

Firefighting foam linked to water contamination across Massachusetts

Source:, February 7, 2019
By: Kathryn Burcham, Jason Solowski

State environmental officials are tracking an emerging threat to drinking water across Massachusetts linked to a firefighting foam used at military installations and airports.

“Back in 2012, 2013 we started showing these contaminates” said Dan Santos, director of the Barnstable Department of Public Works.

Testing revealed toxic levels of chemicals in the soil at the county fire and rescue training academy, only a few hundred yards from the town’s watershed. He says it was from years of use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) at the facility adjacent to the Barnstable Municipal Airport.

“When they use the firefighter foam to put out fires it goes on the ground. That foam which contains these chemicals seeps into the soil and binds to the soil particle and it stays there,” Santos said.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for two chemical compounds – known as per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS in drinking water.  Santos said they found numbers in the thousands in the soil at the fire training facility.…

February 7, 2019

Nebraska plant to pay $45M in pollution settlement

Source: Associated Press, February 6, 2019
Posted on:

A judge has approved a class-action settlement between Muscatine residents and a local factory that they blame for a noxious odor and haze and for causing health problems.

District Judge John Telleen on Tuesday approved the settlement over the Grain Processing Corporation plant, which makes corn-based products, The Muscatine Journal reported. The company agreed to pay $45 million to cover an estimated 14,000 claims and to spend $6.5 million on pollution controls at the Muscatine plant.

Residents sued the company in 2012, alleging that the plant was negligent with its emissions and the odor was a nuisance. The case later received class-action status.

GPC supports the settlement and believes it’s fair, said Joshua Frank, an attorney for the company. The company will continue to operate successfully in the area, he said.…

February 6, 2019


Source:, February 6, 2019

The fire manufacturer delayed releasing information about the contamination for four years

Tyco Fire Products, a Marinette, Wis., manufacturer of firefighting foam, knew there was soil and well contamination on its property dating back to October 2013, but failed to share the information with homeowners surrounding the property until November 2017, according to state records obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The site faces per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in groundwater stemming from its use of firefighting foam.

According to Tyco, the company knew about the contamination on their property, but did not make the information public until they found it to spread beyond its 380-acre fire technology center. After discovering the spread, the company began supplying bottled water to residents surrounding the site with well water contamination and was ordered by the state of Wisconsin to investigate the problem.

February 6, 2019

Federal lawsuit filed over drinking water contamination on Whidbey

Source:, February 5, 2019
By: Jessie Stensland

Lawyers for a North Whidbey woman filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against a manufacturing corporation and fire equipment companies they say are responsible for contamination of groundwater on the island with “highly toxic” chemicals found in a type of firefighting foam.

Testing by the Navy in recent years showed that wells near the Ault Field base on North Whidbey and Outlying Field Coupeville in Central Whidbey contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFASs, that are present in aqueous film forming foam, or AFFF, used by Navy fire departments to extinguish aircraft fires.

The attorneys are seeking class action status and hope to add potentially thousands of other current and former Whidbey Island residents as plaintiffs in the lawsuit; the town of Coupeville is also a potential plaintiff, attorneys said.

The law firm Edelson of San Francisco and Seattle attorney Robert Teel are representing Krista Jackson is the lawsuit against the 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Chemguard Inc. and National Foam Inc.…