Transportation

January 15, 2019

Polish motorway is covered in chocolate as tanker truck overturns

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk, May 10, 2018
By: Mythili Sampathkumar

One local official says it has been a long time since police were smiling at the scene of an accident

A truck full of liquid chocolate has overturned on a motorway in Poland, spilling 12 tonnes of the sweet stuff all over the road.

Traffic was blocked in both directions of the A2 motorway between the towns of Wrzesnia and Slupca in Western Poland, according to the Associated Press. The road also connects the major cities of Poznan and Warsaw. No one was gravely injured as a result of the accident, but the driver of the lorry was taken to hospital with a broken arm.

It is not clear as yet what caused the tanker truck to overturn and fall onto its side across the median, or where it was ultimately headed. By the time cleanup crews had arrived the liquid had begun to solidify, making the operation more difficult, local police said.

Bogdan Kowalski of Slupca’s fire brigade said that “the cooling chocolate is worse than snow”. He also noted that in the initial moments after the accident there were some who drove their vehicles through the sticky liquid, spreading it for several kilometres along the road.

Marlena Kukawka, a media officer for the police in the small town of Slupca, told the New York Times it would take “hours” to clean the mess and fire brigades were using streams of hot water to remelt the chocolate in order to wash it away.

As the Washington Post reported about the local news station TVN24: “One of its reporters at the scene was walking along the edge of the shoulder to avoid the chocolate only to slip and fall into a ditch, where there was, indeed, more chocolate”.

On a positive note, Ms Kukawka said “it’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many smiles on the faces of emergency rescue folks and police officers at the scene of an accident”.

January 15, 2019

River of chocolate blocks traffic on Arizona highway after tanker carrying 40,000 pounds overturns: Authorities

Source: https://abcnews.go.com, January 14, 2019
By: Julia Jacobo

Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory isn’t the only place to house a river of chocolate.

A section of Interstate 40 near Flagstaff, Arizona, was covered in the cocoa confection after a tanker trailer carrying more than 40,000 pounds of the liquid overturned Monday morning around 9 a.m., Arizona Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Bart Graves told ABC News.

The truck originated in Ontario, Canada, and was headed to Henderson, Nevada, Graves said. Authorities believe the tanker overturned after the latch between truck and the trailer became unsecured and the trailer became separated from the truck, Graves said.

Thousands of gallons of chocolate then spilled into the roadway and cleanup crews had to empty out the remaining contents from the trailer so they could lift it upright and tow it with a heavy-duty tow truck, Graves said.

Officials also shut down westbound lanes on Interstate 40 for about four hours, but the accident happened just beyond an off-ramp, so authorities were able to re-route traffic from there, Graves said.

No one was injured in the accident, but a truck-load of chocolate was wasted.

“This will be a sweet cleanup!” the Arizona DPS wrote on Twitter.

January 11, 2019

Long-term use of airport tank farm leads to soil and groundwater contamination

Source: http://images.hello.axaxl.com/Web/XLGlobalServices/%7B87f299cd-ddaf-410b-8fd3-87858cc33594%7D_Envtl_Whitepaper_FBO_US_CA_AXAXL.pdf?utm_campaign=NA_USA_BROK_ENV_EB_4994_FBOs%20need%20envtl%20protection&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

A small airport serving as a regional transportation/shipping hub was owned by a local municipality and operated by a single FBO. They used a tank farm from the 1940s through 2013, which led to discovery of significant soil and groundwater contamination during replacement of aboveground fuel tanks and underground piping. The release was reported to the state regulatory agency and soil remediation was deemed necessary prior to installation of new fuel tanks. The extent of groundwater contamination was unknown.

AXA XL’s claims team retained a consultant to respond to the regulatory agency and prepare a remediation work plan, which allowed the new tank erection to proceed without further delay. Soil excavation and confirmation sampling was completed around old tank and piping areas. The regulatory agency also
required additional groundwater monitoring wells to assess the extent of contamination. Because the airport was in a more remote region, this resulted in higher remediation costs due to increased professional time and materials fees. The extent of VOC groundwater contamination was defined and found to be
localized. Cost of the remediation was capped to just slightly under $1 million, but just as importantly, responsive claim handling allowed the airport to continue operations and avoid any business interruption expenses.…

January 11, 2019

Storage and repair of older, radium-containing aircraft instruments

Source: http://images.hello.axaxl.com/Web/XLGlobalServices/%7B87f299cd-ddaf-410b-8fd3-87858cc33594%7D_Envtl_Whitepaper_FBO_US_CA_AXAXL.pdf?utm_campaign=NA_USA_BROK_ENV_EB_4994_FBOs%20need%20envtl%20protection&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

Based on recent US EPA guidance, an airport determined that one of its FBO tenants, an avionics repair firm, had a large amount of potentially radioactive aircraft instruments stored in their warehouse for many years. The luminescent paint used in these aircraft instruments (new and used) contained radium, which
continued to emit measurable radiation and pose potential health hazards. These instruments were mixed together with thousands of other aircraft parts in the warehouse. The state regulatory agency inspected the site, and a primary concern cited was the potential for a catastrophic fire to result in ingestion/inhalation of radium smoke/soot and generation of contaminated fire-fighting water.

The tenant could not afford to sort and dispose of the radium-contaminated instruments and filed for bankruptcy. The state regulatory agency notified the airport of impending enforcement action and the airport decided it was necessary to dispose of the instruments as low level radioactive waste. An AXA XL technical
consultant worked with the airport to determine the level of risk and appropriate disposal requirements. A third-party consultant was hired to assist with proper hazard identification and disposal of the radium instruments. All costs and expenses associated with the consulting services and instrument disposal fell within the airport’s self-insured policy retention of $500,000.…

January 11, 2019

Use of de-icing fluids impacts wetland

Source: http://images.hello.axaxl.com/Web/XLGlobalServices/%7B87f299cd-ddaf-410b-8fd3-87858cc33594%7D_Envtl_Whitepaper_FBO_US_CA_AXAXL.pdf?utm_campaign=NA_USA_BROK_ENV_EB_4994_FBOs%20need%20envtl%20protection&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

An airport in the northern United States routinely used propylene glycol for de-icing activities, which were performed by several FBOs at multiple locations. Long term use of the de-icing agent resulted in offsite discharges including impacts to an adjacent wetland. Further, the local regulatory authority reduced the stormwater discharge limits for parameters such as the biological oxygen demand (BOD), which resulted in routine exceedances. The airport considered a centralized de-icing area, but due to the physical constraints of the airport, this was deemed impractical and expensive. Faced with significant fines and a potential consent order, the airport was forced to take action so flight operations were not impacted.

AXA XL’s environmental claims counsel and a technical consultant worked with the FBOs and airport to prepare a plan for smaller de-icing areas with an improved collection system. Discharges were routed to a central engineered wetland to provide passive treatment of the propylene glycol and meet storm water permit requirements. Construction of the engineered wetland and storm water conveyance systems cost under $2 million and saved the airport from over $13 million in non-compliance costs and fines. This was accomplished with limited disruption to airport operations and no impact to flight schedules. The FBOs incurred some legal defense expense and a portion of the construction expense.…

January 11, 2019

Airport fuel hydrant leaks

Source: http://images.hello.axaxl.com/Web/XLGlobalServices/%7B87f299cd-ddaf-410b-8fd3-87858cc33594%7D_Envtl_Whitepaper_FBO_US_CA_AXAXL.pdf?utm_campaign=NA_USA_BROK_ENV_EB_4994_FBOs%20need%20envtl%20protection&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

An airport and their FBO used a hydrant system (underground fuel delivery pipeline) for many years. During maintenance of the system, it was discovered that a valve leaked in the fuel hydrant system. Over a long-period of time, jet fuel leaked from this valve at a rate that went undetected by the leak detection system. Over time, significant contamination of the aquifer underlying the airport occurred, resulting in a remediation order from the local/county environmental authority.

Although, the airport had initially installed and operated the hydrant system, the current FBO’s contract made it responsible for preventing and responding to spills/releases and overall environmental compliance. AXA XL’s claims counsel and consultants worked with the FBO and airport to reach a settlement and develop a remediation work plan. A risk assessment was performed to ensure that there was no harm to airport users or employees from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater. A long-term remediation project involving monitored natural attenuation for 20 years was implemented. Costs are
expected to exceed $400,000, but are still significantly less expensive than an active groundwater treatment system.…

February 28, 2018

Court affirms Conrail not entitled to pollution coverage

Source: http://www.businessinsurance.com, February 27, 2018
By: Judy Greenwald

A Pennsylvania state appeals court has affirmed a lower court ruling and held the Consolidated Rail Corp. is not entitled to pollution coverage under policies issued by a Berkshire Hathaway Group unit and Continental Insurance Co.

The ruling by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg in Consolidated Rail Corp. v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co. is the latest in a long-running pollution liability case that originally involved 55 insurers, according to Monday’s ruling.

The case involved efforts by Philadelphia-based Consolidated Rail, commonly referred to as Conrail, to obtain indemnification for contamination remediation, cleanup costs and other expenses related to toxic spills and releases at various geographic sites, according to the ruling.

“Conrail argues the insurance policy language is ambiguous and can be reasonably read to provide coverage for Conrail’s liability for pre-existing contamination, regardless of whether Conrail actively contributed to that contamination.”

The appeals court upheld a ruling by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in Philadelphia in favor of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway unit Stonewall Insurance Co. and Columbus, Ohio-based Continental Insurance Co.

“The court determined that the insurance policy required the insurers to reimburse Conrail only for the damages arising out of an ‘occurrence’ (i.e., environmental contamination) that was caused by or grew out of Conrail’s operations at the time,” said the ruling.

“In other words, the policies provided coverage to Conrail only if Conrail could prove it had discharged some of the pollutants during the policy terms for which it had incurred liability,” said the ruling.

The lower court determined facts for some of the sites insured by Continental, and for the site Stonewall insured, indicated that pollutants had been discharged before Contrail took over operations, it said.

“We see no reason to disrupt the court’s sound analysis regarding the interpretation of the insurance policy language and the application of the language to the sites, in question,” said the ruling.…

August 30, 2017

Lead-Based Paint Is a “Pollutant” within CGL Pollution Exclusion

Source: http://www.constructionrisk.com, August 2017
By: Kent Holland

Where lead-based paint was ingested by a tenant’s child, the tenant sued her landlord for injuries allegedly sustained by the child. The landlord tendered the claim to its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer who, instead of defending the case, filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the pollution exclusion of the CGL policy barred coverage for the alleged injuries. The Owner held that, although not specifically listed in the pollution definition as a “pollutant,” lead-based paint is, in fact, a “pollutant” within the meaning of the policy. The policy’s pollution exclusion was, therefore, applicable, and the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify the landlord. See Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 298 Ga. 716, 784 S.E.2d 422 (2016).

The terms of the CGL policy required the insurer “to pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’” … “only if: (1) the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ is caused by an ‘occurrence’ that takes place ….” An occurrence is defined as “an accident.” Coverage was subject to exclusions, including the pollution exclusion, which provided that the insurance does not apply to “(1) ‘[b]odily injury’ or ‘property damage’ arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of ‘pollutants’: (a) [a]t or from any premises, site or location which is or was at any time owned or occupied by, or rented or loaned to, any insured.”…

August 12, 2016

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Source: http://www.lexology.com, August 9, 2016
By: Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce and Craig B. Simonsen, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants.

Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when it comes to providing coverage for damages arising from pollution events. This is so even where the insurance policy attempts to exclude coverage.

Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Gary-Chicago Int’l Airport Auth., No. 15-cv-00281 (N.D. Ind., July 25, 2016), is the latest in a line of cases to hold that, in Indiana, if an insurer wants to exclude coverage for pollution, the policy must state with specificity the contaminants and pollutants for which coverage is excluded.

In Old Republic, the Northern District of Indiana denied Old Republic Insurance Company’s (Old Republic) motion for summary judgment, finding that Old Republic must pay defense costs arising from contamination at the Gary-Chicago International Airport (Airport) because of ambiguities in the insurance policies issued by Old Republic.…

July 27, 2011

Chemical Spill Forces Evacuations in Illinois

Source: http://www.kplr11.com, April 24, 2009

Anhydrous Ammonia Leaking Near Du Quoin

Several homes have been evacuated along with a school in Du Quoin, Illinois where a tanker truck carrying a dangerous chemical has overturned.

The wreck happened on Highway 51, just south of Du Quoin, which is about 70 miles from St. Louis.

The truck was carrying two tanks of anhydrous ammonia. At least one tank is reported leaking at this hour. FOX 2 has a crew on the way, and we’ll have more information as it becomes available. …