October 16, 2018

Students relocated as William Paterson University cleans mold from dorms

Source:, October 15, 2018
By: Philip DeVencentis

Mold has been detected in a majority of residence halls at William Paterson University, forcing more than three dozen students to relocate to other on-campus units.

Seven of 10 residence halls and two academic buildings have mold, a university spokeswoman said.

The university has not identified those buildings and residence halls by name, but spokeswoman Mary Beth Zeman said 40 students in 25 rooms were offered temporary shelter for up to three days, as the mold was cleaned up. The number of students who opted to remain in their rooms during the process is unknown.

Zeman said the university is paying $2,500 to $7,000 per room to Hawthorne-based Insurance Restoration Specialists Inc. to clean the mold. She said many of the mold incidents were addressed by the university’s custodial staff.

Meanwhile, some students say they are exhibiting allergic and respiratory symptoms because of the mold.

“It’s never been this bad,” said Kasie Sullivan, 21, living for the second straight year at Heritage Hall. “Everyone is talking about it.”…

October 12, 2018

Study provides clearest indication yet of the extent of industrial pollution from Johnson Controls subsidiary into Green Bay

Source:, October 12, 2018
By: Lee Bergquist

A new report from a Johnson Controls subsidiary that manufactures firefighting chemicals in northeastern Wisconsin provides the clearest evidence to date that contaminants from company operations are flowing into Green Bay at multiple points.

The analysis shows perfluorinated chemicals — pollutants that are under growing scrutiny nationally —- have been found in numerous locations in Marinette in groundwater, soil and five free-flowing ditches where water directly enters the bay.

In some cases, test results of both groundwater and water in the ditches for one key compound greatly exceed a federal health advisory for drinking water over a lifetime.

In one example, groundwater contamination was found to be more than 47,000 percent higher than the federal advisory.

The results prompted Tyco Fire Products last month to propose a plan to install treatment systems in two ditches to keep more chemicals from entering the bay.…

October 11, 2018

Mold was found in 100 more rooms in the Quad over Fall Break

Source:, October 10, 2018
By: Julia Klayman

Minor evidence of mold, moisture, and mildew was found in about 100 student rooms in the Quad this past weekend. University administrators said they worked with outside contractors over fall break to address the mold, allowing most residents to return to their rooms by Sunday. However, there are still six rooms under mold remediation, which has forced approximately 10 freshmen to relocate to nearby hotels for a week.

Prior to fall break, 22 Quad dorms were reportedly affected by mold, forcing 11 residents to move to alternate locations. Several also reported feeling sick as a result of the mold.

According to Director of Communications and External Relations for Business Barbara Lea-Kruger, staff from Penn Residential Services discovered the extent of the mold spread during annual Health and Safety checks of the residential system over fall break. Most of the rooms that initially reported issues with mold were in Ware College House, but during the check, dorm rooms across the Quad were found to have evidence of mold.…

October 10, 2018

Cambria caps Didion wastewater line; company denies contamination

Source:, October 9, 2018
by: Lyn Jerde

From now on, workers at Didion Ethanol can’t even flush their toilets into Cambria’s wastewater treatment system.

Village Public Works Director Tom Tietz said a wastewater main leading from the decade-old plant has been capped – as Tietz had warned company officials would happen almost a month ago, after he concluded that industrial wastewater from Didion Ethanol was being dumped into a treatment system that’s not built to handle it.

On Friday, a contractor cut and capped the force main leading from the ethanol plant.

From now on, Tietz said, any wastewater from the plant, including water down the sink or from flushing toilets, will have to be collected onsite and hauled away.

Tietz said it’s too soon to know whether capping the line has stopped the flow of contaminated wastewater into the village’s treatment system, as it takes about five days to get results from tests.

Company President Riley Didion came to Monday’s Village Board meeting in the hope, he said, of restoring good communication with village officials.

October 10, 2018

Contamination found at former Johnson Oil site

Source:, October 9, 2018
By: Cody Mann

Clatskanie city officials were notified at this month’s council meeting of an environmental concern at the former Johnson Oil location on Columbia River Highway. The county currently owns the property.

Several Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) employees accompanied Columbia County Commissioner Margaret Magruder to the City Council meeting. She handed out maps showing the contaminated area to the council and said although tanks had been removed from the site or decommissioned, the site itself must be cleaned up before it can be used.

“There is funding available, but we need to determine what we can do that would benefit the community with this piece of property,” Magruder said. “The County would like the City to give us some input.”

Magruder said members of the Clatskanie Farmers Market who might be interested in the old gas station property had approached her. She said she supposed after a $1 million cleanup operation, the site could be paved and used by the market, though she noted it is quite small.…
October 4, 2018

Asbestos found at San Onofre Units 2 and 3; nuclear plant officials say issue ‘not unexpected’

Source:, October 3, 2018
By: rob Nikolewski

Areas in the Unit 2 and Unit 3 containment domes at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are under restricted access after workers recently discovered particles of asbestos and the plant’s operator, Southern California Edison, has hired a contractor to test and clean up the areas.

Workers on Aug. 2 found what are called “friable” amounts of asbestos — materials that when dry can be easily reduced to powder by hand — as part of the preparations to eventually dismantle buildings at the plant, which is in the process of being decommissioned.

Officials with Edison said asbestos was commonly used in nuclear power plants back in the 1970s and ‘80s when the two containment buildings were constructed.

“It was not unexpected for us to find this,” said Edison spokeswoman Liese Mosher. “We have all the appropriate safeguards in place for our people.”

Mosher said no amounts of airborne asbestos have been detected so far. Only plant workers whose jobs require them to enter the affected areas are allowed in and protective equipment is provided.…

October 1, 2018

Mold clean-up could cost Pender Schools millions

Source:, September 27, 2018
By: Cammie Bellamy

Mold clean-up after Hurricane Florence is expected to cost Pender County Schools millions of dollars. But the state’s insurance policy for school buildings is unlikely to cover it.

District officials and the Pender County Board of Education held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss storm damage to its buildings. Darren LaFon, the district’s Chief Officer of Operations, said as of Thursday, seven out of 18 schools are not ready to occupy: South Topsail Elementary, Cape Fear Elementary, Cape Fear Middle, North Topsail Elementary, Rocky Point Elementary, Topsail Elementary and Topsail Middle.

“The east-side schools got hit pretty hard,” LaFon said.

Though damage assessments have not been completed, LaFon said early, “worst case scenario” estimates for mold damage at seven schools were well over a million dollars. Estimates ranged from $1,080,000 at North Topsail Elementary to $1,980,000 at Topsail High School.

“I do not expect those numbers to be anywhere near that high,” LaFon said. “This is just mold abatement, this is not structural issues. There will be some more.”…

September 27, 2018

Risk Tip: Meeting Your Insurance Requirements: Common Pollution and Professional Pitfalls

By:  Timothy Prosser, CPCU, RPLU

Satisfying a client’s contractual requirement for Professional or Pollution Liability coverage isn’t always as simple as it seems; all policies are not created equal and many contracts include language defining exactly what coverage clauses are required.  Below are some common pitfalls to consider before issuing a certificate of insurance:

If professional liability or errors and omissions insurance is required, be sure to review your insured’s policy to ensure there is no exclusion for “Economic Damages”.  Some professional liability forms will cover damages arising from Bodily Injury and Property Damage but will exclude Economic Damages. Economic Damages represent financial harm suffered by a claimant and often include damages such as extra expenses and loss of income.  Coverage for such losses is crucial for contractors because they often arise from negligence in construction management which is an underlying factor in many professional liability claims.

Second: is pollution coverage only permitted on an occurrence basis? If so, it is important to review the policy because many occurrence-based pollution policies can include a claims-made provision specifically for mold and/or bacteria.

Lastly: Does the contract require affirmative coverage for bacteria?  Bacteria may be considered a pollutant, but many pollution forms only cover a specific type of bacteria – Legionella pneumophila.  This limitation may present a contractual compliance issue if the contract requires that coverage apply towards any type of bacteria.…

September 27, 2018

Legionella bacteria found in all but 3 schools in West Orange

Source:, September 27, 2018

New Jersey school officials are taking steps to keep students safe following the discovery legionella bacteria in the water supply.

The bacteria, which can cause lung infections, was found in all but three schools in West Orange.

Officials said a chlorination process, which eliminates all bacteria in the pipes, will be conducted in each affected building.

The process includes the following steps:

–Chlorine is pumped into the hot water heater and remains in the hot water tank for four hours to eliminate any bacteria

–Chlorine is then pumped through the hot water piping system and remains in the system for 14 hours to eliminate any bacteria, and all aerators on every sink in the building are cleaned and chlorinated

–Chlorinated water is drained from the hot water tank and hot water piping system and flushed with fresh water

–Water samples are drawn and retested after the chlorination process to verify that the water again meets the Safe Drinking Water Act standards…

September 27, 2018

Learning to Live With the New Silica Rule

Source: EHS Today, September 25, 2018
Posted on:

The new silica regulation imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limiting employee exposure to crystalline silica may be detailed and complex, but the agency takes compliance seriously and is not expected to cut an employer any slack if caught violating the rule.

The rule went into effect on June 23 for most employers but were imposed on Oct. 23, 2017, on the construction industry, where OSHA believes most worker exposure to silica takes place. A study of the first six months of OSHA enforcement in the construction industry shows where it focused the greatest attention.

The rule significantly lowers the silica level that workers may be exposed to and imposes several new requirements on employers. According to OSHA estimates, 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica at work and epidemiological studies showed a strong link between silica exposure and lung cancer in at least 10 industries.

“Compliance with the rule will present challenges for some employers and industries at a time when OSHA enforcement and OSHA penalties have been on the rise,” stresses attorney Gregory S. Narsh of the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP.…