Articles

December 18, 2018

Route 55 fuel spill kills beaver, leeches into Mantua Creek

Source: https://www.courierpostonline.com, December 14, 2018
By: Carly Q. Romalino

At least one beaver is dead and another in the care of an animal rescue group after being “oiled” in a fuel spill that started on Route 55, but leaked into Mantua Creek through a highway storm drain.

Crews expect a long cleanup for the four to five to miles of winding, slow-moving creek in which fuel is hung up on fallen trees and other debris, according to state environmental protection officials.

“It’s going to take a while to do this,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s emergency management director Bob VanFossen told the Courier Post Friday.

“Mother Nature is really going to be the one to help with rain over time.”

A tanker truck owned by Ross Fogg Fuel Oil Company overturned on Route 55 near exit 53 in Mantua, spilling 7,800 gallons of diesel fuel on the highway Dec. 5, according to the DEP.…

December 13, 2018

Lockheed to expand groundwater cleanup in San Fernando Basin in settlement with DWP

Source: https://www.latimes.com, December 12, 2018
By: Alene Tchekmedyian

Lockheed Martin has agreed to expand its cleanup efforts of contaminated groundwater in the San Fernando Basin as part of a settlement agreement reached with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will treat and transfer 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water to the utility, saving ratepayers what officials estimate will be more than $170 million over the next 30 years. The utility says that’s enough water for 56,000 people a year.

“When companies contaminate our water, they ought to be the ones paying to clean it up,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “This historic settlement agreement will help clean millions of gallons of groundwater in the San Fernando Basin, and expand local supplies for years to come.”

For decades dating from the 1920s, Lockheed Martin manufactured and tested aircraft and other industrial equipment in Burbank, contaminating the groundwater there and in the eastern area of North Hollywood.

December 13, 2018

Veterans worry about health after exposure to harmful chemicals at Pease Air Force Base

Source: https://connectingvets.radio.com, December 12, 201

Veterans and family members who lived and worked aboard the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, NH,. are urging the government to collect data about their health and disease rates and how that may tie into chemicals they were exposed to on the military installation.

During a listening session, Dec. 7 hosted by 157th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. John Pogorek, veterans spoke about routine, unprotected interactions they had with chemicals that are now known or believed to be harmful according to New Hampshire Public Radio.

Speakers said they used jet fuels to wash their hands; dumped hydraulic fluid into storm drains, and sprayed each other with firefighting foam to celebrate events like retirements.

That foam is known to contain cancer-causing PFAS chemicals which can also cause other health issues. High levels of PFAS chemicals were found in Pease drinking water in 2014, according to New Hampshire Public Radio and the Air Force base has now partnered with both the state and city to clean up the water supply. The base has also been named a Superfund site.…

December 13, 2018

Construction of new high school draws concerns about tar fumes, won’t be complete for next school year

Source: https://www.kingstonist.com, December 12, 2018
By: Michelle Allan

When Jennifer Kehoe brought her son home sick from school, she initially thought he was feigning illness. She’d been called to pick him up from Molly Brant Elementary six of the past 12 school days, but his nausea, headache, and sore throat seemed to go away within an hour of being home. On her seventh trip to the school, Kehoe noticed the odour of asphalt from nearby construction of the new Kingston Secondary School (KSS) “was so profound I could almost taste it”, and began to wonder if the fumes were causing her seven year old’s symptoms.

“It left a film on your teeth,” Kehoe said, detailing the impacts on the students, “Kids are physically vomiting.” She said there was no warning from the school or school board about the possible effects of the roof tar, and her requests for information were largely ignored.

On Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, Kehoe sent an email requesting information about the safety of the chemicals being used and inquiring about possible accommodations to prevent students from being affected. She requested the school provide the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the asphalt being used on Wednesday, Nov. 21. After contacting the superintendent of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) on Thursday, Nov. 22, Kehoe said that Alison Fraser, Principal at Molly Brant Elementary, gave her a verbal estimate on Friday, Nov. 23, estimating the fumes would persist for two additional weeks.…

December 12, 2018

“I’m ready to get up out of here,” Gas odor still impacting Columbia community weeks later

Source: https://www.wltx.com, December 11, 2018
By: Nic Jones

Some in a Columbia community are thinking about moving after a gas odor at a nearby gas station has been impacting people for weeks.

It’s been a pain for this community since before Thanksgiving.

Back on November 19th, Play Pals Day Care off of Broad River Road noticed a gas odor. They were evacuated and it was later discovered by the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control that it

Adrian Whitney says he’s had to leave his home three times since the first incident.

“The last couple of weeks, we’ve been in and out. Throw yourself at the mercy of a family member and spend extra money on hotels,” said Whitney.

The day care off of Dothan Road has been closed since the 19th. At the gas station next door, the convenience store is still open.

“When it’s raining, the rain seems to push the fumes all the way down to the house, then we have to go,” explained Whitney.…

December 11, 2018

Speedway settles state lawsuit over leaking gas tanks and contaminated sewers at Westmont station

Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com, December 10, 2018
By: Kimberly Fornek

The Illinois Attorney General and the DuPage County State’s Attorney offices have reached a settlement of their lawsuit against Speedway LLC, that requires the company pay a $75,000 penalty.

The state and county sued Speedway in 2017 after gasoline leaking from underground storage tanks at a Speedway gas station at 6241 S. Cass Ave. in Westmont, infiltrated storm and sanitary sewers. Flammable fumes moving through the sewer systems caused explosions in homes and a condominium building in Willowbrook, officials determined.

An 80-year-old woman was hospitalized after she was injured by an explosion in a laundry room in the The Knolls building, at 6167 Knoll Wood Road, on Oct. 20, 2017.

The lawsuit claimed Speedway created a water pollution hazard and caused water and air pollution and a substantial danger to the environment and public health.

December 6, 2018

Disneyland cooling tower was likely source of all 22 Legionnaires’ cases, official testifies

Source: Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2018
Posted on: http://www.advisen.com

A cooling tower at Disneyland was the likely source for all 22 cases in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak last year near the theme park, an Orange County health official testified Tuesday.

Most of those who fell ill visited the park in the fall of 2017. Disneyland has denied it was the source, pointing to three infected people who had been in Anaheim but not at Disneyland. One of them died.

Dr. Matthew Zahn, medical director for epidemiology at the Orange County Health Care Agency, told an appeals board judge at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those three people were in nursing homes in Anaheim. He said health workers visited the nursing homes and determined there were no likely sources of the Legionella bacteria there.

Tests around the time of the outbreak showed high levels of Legionella bacteria in two of Disneyland’s cooling towers, which likely spread contaminated droplets to people in the park, Zahn said. The medical director said he concluded the three nursing home patients were probably sickened by Disneyland as well, because water infected with Legionella bacteria “can spread two to four miles.”…

December 6, 2018

District of New Jersey Finds the Government Not Liable for Remediation Costs Associated with Former Chromite Defense Site

Source: https://www.lexology.com, December 4, 2018
By: Maria C. Salvemini, Manko Gold Katcher & Fox

In an unpublished opinion, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that the Government was not liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) for remediation costs incurred at a former defense site. PPG Indus., Inc. v. United States, No. 12-3526, 2018 WL 6168623 (D.N.J. Nov. 26, 2018). Last year we reported on TDY Holdings v. United States, in which the Ninth Circuit rejected a zero percent liability allocation to the government for remediation costs incurred at a former aeronautical manufacturing plant. In PPG Industries, the District of New Jersey found that the Government’s general wartime control over a New Jersey chromite facility was insufficient by itself to impose liability absent a direct connection between the Government and waste disposal activities. The District Court’s decision highlights a hurdle for private parties hoping to hold the government responsible for cleanup costs incurred at former defense sites.

PPG Industries, Inc. (“PPG”) was the owner and operator of property in Jersey City, New Jersey (the “Site”) from 1954 to 1962 where a chromite ore processing plant was located. PPG purchased the Site from Natural Products Refining Company (“NPR”), which had owned and operated the Site since 1910 and whose operations included converting chrome ore to chromium chemicals. The production process created “mud” or “sludge,” containing hazardous substances—some of which was stockpiled on the Site. During World Wars I and II, NPR produced chrome chemicals at the Site for the Government and civilian consumption. During these wars the Government designated chromium chemicals as a critical war material and implemented price and labor controls, and subsidies.…

December 4, 2018

Ridgewood Water prepares to sue corporations over chemical contamination

Source: https://www.northjersey.com, December 4, 2018
By: Meghan Grant

Aiming to identify the companies behind the chemical contamination of its water supply, Ridgewood Water has retained a California-based law firm to potentially sue over the expensive costs of meeting new state and federal water quality standards.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of man-made chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other illnesses. They are quite common, and have been used to make firefighting foams, high-performance plastics, non-stock cookware and stain-resistant material such as carpets and clothing. By federal law, PFAS are no longer manufactured in the United States.

New Jersey already has some of the strictest water-quality standards for the substances, which include PFOA and PFNA, and new standards are expected to be adopted at the state and federal levels. Ridgewood Water, which serves 60,000 people in Ridgewood, Midland Park, Glen Rock and Wyckoff, has embarked on a multimillion-dollarcapital improvement initiative to meet the evolving standards.…

November 30, 2018

Judges Weigh Consolidating Firefighting Foam, Other Water Chemical Lawsuits

Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com, November 30, 2018
By: Tiffany Kary

Creating a massive lawsuit over cancer-linked chemicals found in around a third of Americans’ drinking water got a skeptical reception in federal court Thursday.

A panel of seven judges in Manhattan repeatedly asked whether cases across the U.S. should be consolidated, given that they may have dealt with different “delivery mechanisms,” or ways the chemicals got into water. The court heard arguments from more than 20 lawyers over whether to consolidate more than 70 lawsuits over firefighting foams into a single case — and whether to add others regarding pollution alleged near manufacturing sites.

3M Co., a maker of the chemicals, and Tyco Fire Products LP and Chemguard Inc., which have used them in firefighting foams, asked to consolidate the cases. DowDuPont Inc., which as DuPont used the chemicals to make Teflon, and its spinoff Chemours Co. are fighting against merging the litigation. They argue that such a large lawsuit would be “unprecedented and unwieldy,” given allegations the chemical is in 99 percent of the U.S. population. Plaintiffs — including towns, water districts and people with personal-injury claims — are split on consolidating the litigation.

“The delivery mechanisms are different,” Andrew Carpenter, a lawyer for DuPont and Chemours, told the panel.…