Volatile organic compound

December 6, 2012

Solvents on towels create air pollution

Source: http://www.rep-am.com, November 21, 2012
By: Barbara Moran

Laundry find in Waterbury leads to larger probe

The moment Mark Spiro walked into G&K Services, an industrial laundry in Waterbury, the steamy air stung his eyes and made his head ache. The place reeked of chemical solvents: methyl ethyl ketone, xylene, toluene — the sickly sweet scents of spray paint, permanent markers and model glue.

On that day in 2007, Spiro, an air pollution control engineer with the (now renamed) state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, discovered high levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, pouring from G&K’s roof stacks, the result of laundering shop and print towels contaminated with toxic solvents, state records indicate. The state eventually sued G&K, won a $1.8 million settlement and stopped the facility from laundering the towels.


June 29, 2012

Lodi bakery faces fine over air pollution accusation

Source: Lodi News-Sentinel, June 27, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A Lodi bakery has agreed to pay $1.3 million in fines and new equipment after an investigation discovered that the business was releasing harmful chemical vapors into the air.

According to a press release from the Environmental Protection Agency, Ralcorp’s Cottage Bakery, located on South Stockton Street, has been ordered to pay a penalty of $625,000 after a nearly three-year investigation revealed the business failed to apply for air pollution permits to install and operate the facility’s ovens and other air pollution controls that minimize the release of volatile organic compounds, including ethanol.

Ethanol is generated during the leavening stage of bread manufacturing and is later released during baking. Cottage Bakery’s production facility includes three bread ovens installed at various times between 1997 and 2006, the press release stated.

The EPA considers volatile organic compounds to be a precursor to ozone pollution.

Ralcorp also agreed to pay $750,000 to install and operate machinery that is meant to reduce VOCs by 95 percent. That machinery is now in use.

A spokesman from Ralcorp was not immediately available for comment.

The agency’s investigation of the bread and cake baking facility included an inspection on July 27, 2009 that revealed that the facility had never applied for air pollution permits to install and operate its ovens, nor had it installed air pollution controls, the press release stated.

Cottage Bakery employs about 625 people. The facility produces frozen bread and cake products that are used by retail bakeries and the food service industry throughout the U.S. and Canada.

According to the agency’s press release, the San Joaquin Valley has some of the poorest air quality in the nation.

Now that the air pollution controls have been installed, however, the business is taking a step towards helping improve air quality both in Lodi and throughout the county.

“Every bit of pollution can contribute to the overall air quality,” said EPA spokesperson Michael Ardito. “We all have to be very aware and try to deter any air pollution that we can.”…

August 17, 2011

EPA Proposes Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Gas Production

Source: Cozen O’Connor’s Energy, Environmental and Utilities Group “News Concerning Recent Developments in Energy and Environmental Law” Newsletter, August 16, 2011

On July 28, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new proposed standards that would reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. The rules take aim at smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that are released by equipment and processes used in the drilling industry.

The proposed rule calls for a 95 percent reduction in VOCs emitted during the completion of new and modified hydraulically fractured wells. To achieve these reductions, drilling companies will need to install “closed loop” systems to capture the natural gas that currently escapes during the drilling process.

Some companies have already installed such systems or are in the process of doing so because the captured gas can then be sold. The EPA estimates that the new regulations will result in net savings to the drilling industry. More information on the announcement can be found here.…

May 31, 2011

EPA to remove contaminated soil from Nepera Superfund site

Source: http://www.strausnews.com, May 27, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday released a plan to remove contaminated soil from the site of former lagoons at the Nepera Chemical Company Superfund site in Hamptonburgh.

The 29.3-acre site is a former industrial waste disposal facility. Between 1953 and 1967, lagoons at the site received approximately 50,000 gallons of wastewater per day from the Nepera Chemical plant in Harriman, which made a variety of pharmaceutical and industrial chemicals.

The EPA plans to excavate and dispose of the contaminated soil off-site. It will take about a year to complete and cost approximately $3,025,000.

This plan amends EPA’s 2007 cleanup plan for the site, which called treating the excavated soil on-site to degrade contaminants. The 2007 plan also included treatment of contaminated groundwater at the site, which will not change under the amended plan.

The public can comment on the plan until June 20. The EPA will hold a public meeting on the plan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at Hamptonburgh Town Hall, 18 Bull Rd., Campbell Hall.

“The contaminants in this soil — especially semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds — are harmful to human health, so removing them as quickly as possible must be a priority,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.

The subsurface soil contains semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds, among other contaminants. People could potentially be harmed if they ingest or come into contact with contaminated soil or water. EPA says groundwater samples from nearby residential wells and three public supply wells have not revealed site-related contamination. Additionally, the site is fenced to limit exposure.

The six backfilled lagoons cover about five acres. State inspectors detected leaks from the lagoons in 1958 and 1960, and operations ended in 1967. About 7,000 people live within three miles of the site.

The proposed plan is available on EPA’s Web site: www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/nepera.

It is also available at the Hamptonburgh Town Hall at 18 Bull Road, Campbell Hall.…

March 23, 2011

Madison considers tougher standards for well pollutants

Source: Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), March 22, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

With more contaminants being found in city wells, the Madison Water Board is considering a tougher approach to pollutants, including heightened monitoring, filters and other treatments.

Contamination of Madison’s public drinking water wells by industrial pollutants is a growing problem. For example, pollutants are a thorny issue in Well No. 15 on the city’s East Side, and recently the possible carcinogen chromium-6 was found in all but three of 16 operating wells tested for the metal.

Madison is not alone. Lee Boushon, who heads the public water section for the state Department of Natural Resources, said other cities face increased contamination of their drinking water and are considering more aggressive regulatory approaches.…

February 10, 2011

EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Computer Circuits Superfund Site

Source: http://yosemite.epa.gov, August 13, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a plan to clean up contamination at the Computer Circuits Superfund site in Hauppauge, New York. The two-acre property, which is bordered by Marcus Boulevard to the west, is home to a facility that formerly manufactured circuit boards.

“EPA has been working on this site for some time now and we are seeing to it that this cleanup is solidly under way,” Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said. “We feel that this proposed plan will further advance the work that EPA has been doing.”…

February 9, 2011

New Windsor taking firm to court in pollution dispute

Source: http://www.recordonline.com, February 5, 2011
By: Michael Randall

The town is going to federal court to force a company to clean up ground water contamination allegedly from a manufacturing plant the firm sold 20 years ago.

The parties have a court date Feb. 17.

The alleged contamination is in Little Falls Park in the Ducktown area — site of one of a number of former town wells and other water sources New Windsor hopes to reactivate to supplement its main supply, New York City’s Catskill Aqueduct.

Town Attorney Michael Blythe said there are two volatile organic compounds in the ground water there — trichloroethylene and trichloroethane.…

August 11, 2010

Elevated Levels of VOC at Landfill

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental

A claim from the regional water quality control board (RWQCB) was initiated for the discovery of elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the groundwater at a garbage company landfill property of an XL insured. Disposal operations at the site had been ceased for over 20 years. VOCs were historically reported at the site upon implementation of groundwater monitoring activities upon closure. During the insured’s environmental consultant’s sampling under an approved, on-going Corrective Action Monitoring Program, unexpected elevated levels of VOCs were reported in the groundwater sampled. The RWQCB required further investigation and the implementation of a remediation work plan.

XL’s environmental claims counsel and a technical consultant worked with the insured and the insured’s environmental consultant to prepare a remediation work plan for submittal to the RWQCB for approval.

The insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy responded to the insured’s claim report. Experienced XL environmental claims counsel and technical consultant assisted the insured and their environmental consultant with the claim asserted by the RWQCB and with the preparation of a remediation work plan to address the elevated levels of VOCs in the groundwater. All costs and expenses associated with the remediation are expected to fall within our insured’s self-insured policy retention.…