June 27, 2013

Explosion Releases Toxic Chemicals

Read here about a chemical plan explosion in Louisiana that released thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals.


May 29, 2013

Soil Spill

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

During construction of a new office building, an excavation contractor collected several tons of contaminated soil for off-site disposal. Unbeknownst to the driver of one of the dump trucks, the rear dump gate of his truck was ajar allowing soil to spill throughout the trip before being pulled over by the police. Things go from had to worse when it was determined that the soils had been contaminated with PCBs. The soil spillage causes a road closure of several hours and the excavation contractor was held responsible for the emergency hazmat clean-up of the soil.


May 28, 2013

Pipeline Company Sued Over Water Contamination

Read here about a Kansas pipeline company that has been sued by some residents over water contamination.


April 2, 2013

Honeywell to Pay Pollution Fine

Read here about a $3 million fine to be paid by Honeywell for pollution at its Hopewell, VA plant.


July 13, 2012

Feds file pollution charges against House of Raeford Farms Inc.

Source: Fayetteville Observer (NC), July 12, 2012
Posted on:

Federal prosecutors have re-filed claims against House of Raeford Farms Inc. and its management for illegally dumping turkey blood and organs.

According to a grand jury indictment filed June 26 the previously 14 alleged incidents of illegal dumping that were dismissed in February are being re-charged.

All incidents were violations of the Clean Water Act, a federal law to prevent, reduce and eliminate water pollution and safely oversee water quality, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege the Hoke County-based poultry processing plant and plant manager, Gregory Steenblock, discharged untreated wastewater 14 separate times between February 2005 and August 2006.

The first case was dismissed without prejudice by U.S. District Court Judge James Beaty.

In his opinion and order, Beaty, who serves the state’s Middle District, cited a violation of the Speedy Trial Act.

Under that act, a defendant must be brought to trial within 70 days of his or her indictment. House of Raeford officials successfully argued that federal prosecutors did not adhere to the act’s guidelines.

Instead, prosecutors let 153 days lapse and the case should be dismissed.

According to court documents, House of Raeford paid nearly $1 million in fines and surcharges for the violations.

Additionally, the plant was upgraded with a $1.4 million expanded pretreated plant.…

October 7, 2011

Industrial fire engulfs chemical plant in north-central Texas

Source:, October 3, 2011
By: Douglas Stanglin

A massive industrial fire at a chemical processing plant is sending plumes of black smoke into the sky near Waxahachie, in north-central Texas, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The fire began before noon at the Magnablend chemical processing plant and quickly spread as a burning liquid. At one point, the fire caused a firetruck at the plant to explode.

Donald Golden, the plant’s environmental health and safety manager, tells CNN that all employees have been accounted for and that a nearby college and elementary school had been evacuated.

WFAA TV says its reporter, Gary Ultee, flew over the site and could see a man on a forklift removing containers as the fire continued to spread.

WFAA-TV also reports that authorities have warned residents to stay indoors to avoid possibly dangerous gases that may be released in the fire.…

May 27, 2011

Wife of man who died in vat of sewer sludge wins appeal .

Source:, May 26, 2011

The Washington State Supreme Court upheld a ruling against an engineering firm that it was negligent in the horrific death of a man who fell into a vat of hot sewer sludge in an accident at the Spokane wastewater treatment plant in 2004.

On May 10, 2004 a digester dome at the plant collapsed. The collapse dropped worker Mike Cmos into the vat of 100-degree sewer sludge, where he drowned.

Two other workers were hurt. Dan Evans was thrown 30 feet from the top of the dome and drenched with sludge. Larry Michaels was on the ground nearby and was knocked down by the wave of sludge. Both suffered serious injuries.

The two survivors and the wife of Mike Cmos sued the engineering firm, CH2M, that was contracted by the plant for negligence, along with the CH2M program manager on site, Kelly Irving. The victims won in 2008 after a three week bench trial in Spokane County Superior Court. In writing his decision, Judge Robert Austin said, “Mike Cmos arguably suffered one of the most disgusting and terrible deaths imaginable.”

On Thursday morning the State Supreme Court issued their ruling against CH2M’s appeal of Austin’s ruling and agreed with Austin’s findings.

The Supreme Court agreed with Austin that CH2M was not immune from being sued for negligence under the Industrial Insurance Act.

The victims in the lawsuit accused CH2M of changing the flow of sewage at the plant, but never telling city employees. The victims believe that changing the flow helped cause the digester dome to overflow and collapse.

The lawsuit labeled CH2M negligent in its engineering, management and design of sewage plant upgrades.

In 2007 when the lawsuit was filed the Cmos family told KREM 2 News they wanted money to cover funeral expenses, loss of income and benefits, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. They did not specify a dollar amount.…

April 6, 2011

Contamination found, project continues as planned

Source:, March 31, 2011
By: Jessica Hoch

Winslow Way reconstruction workers discovered contaminated soil near Madison Avenue this week, but city officials said the amount was not unexpected and the project is moving along without delay.

About two to three truckloads of fuel-based contaminated soils were located at the corner of Madison Avenue and Winslow Way, which was once the location of both a car dealership and a service station. The soil was found while the city was excavating for the new sewer main replacement.

“As one would expect at an old gasoline station, some of the petroleum has migrated into the adjacent roadway,” said Interim City Manager Brenda Bauer. “Single-hull tanks were used for many decades and they did not contain leaks well. Petroleum contamination is pretty routine in utility works.”…

March 31, 2011

In brief: Storage company fined for 2007 ammonia leak

Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), March 29, 2011
Posted on:

Empire Cold Storage will pay a $67,142 fine for failing to report the release of an estimated 400 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in 2007 from its Spokane warehouse.

No injuries were reported from the leak on July 14, 2007, which occurred over about three hours at 1327 N. Oak St. Company officials failed to immediately report the leak to local and state authorities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which reached a settlement with the company.

Empire Cold Storage uses large amounts of anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant. The toxic gas attacks the skin, eyes, throat and lungs. It can cause serious injury or death.

Armed man robs Valley mini mart

A clerk at a convenience store in Spokane Valley was robbed Sunday by a man who showed the butt of a pistol hidden under a coat.…

March 9, 2011

Ammonia Leak Sends People to Hospital

Read here about how an ammonia leak in Connecticut sent 12 people to the hospital.…