April 8, 2013

Toxic Wastewater Leads to Fines in RI

Read here about a landfill in Rhode Island that has been fined thousands after toxic wastewater flowed into sewage treatment plant.


April 2, 2013

Elgin chemical company to pay $500,000, clean up toxins

Source: The State, Columbia, SC, March 27, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

An Elgin chemical manufacturer will pay a $500,000 pollution fine for a series of alleged environmental violations at its plant and a wastewater treatment facility near Lugoff, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the company’s 46-year-old operation illegally discharged as many as 10 different chemicals into the Wateree River above permitted federal limits. Among the pollutants of concern are benzene, chlorine, toluene and xylene.

The federal consent decree with Weylchem requires the company to eliminate a discharge to the Wateree River and discontinue trucking waste from the Elgin facility, according to a news release late Tuesday afternoon.

“After years of negotiations, this consent decree is good news for the Lugoff and Elgin communities and the people of South Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming, said she also was pleased with the agreement with Weylchem.

“This agreement will result in better management practices that will ultimately lead to greater protection of public health and the environment for the citizens of South Carolina.”

An official with Weylchem who could speak publicly about the settlement was not available Tuesday, but a company official said Weylchem’s troubles result from a previous owner of the chemical facility.

The facility has been known through the years as Elgin Fine Chemicals, Clariant LSM America Inc., and Archimica Inc., according to federal prosecutors. Violations cited include for both air and water pollution.

The company will investigate possible soil and groundwater contamination in the Elgin area.


February 6, 2013

Fracking Wastewater Radioactive?

Read here about studies that have shown fracking wastewater can be radioactive.…

December 5, 2012

NJ Wastewater Treatment Plant Crippled by Sandy

Read here about a wastewater treatment plant in New Jersey that was damaged by Superstorm  Sandy.…

April 4, 2012

Drilling Contractor – Raw Sewage

Source: Rockhill Environmental/NECC Newsletter

A subsurface drilling contractor caused a release of raw sewage into both soil and groundwater after failing to identify a sewer line before drilling into the sewer pipe. The clean-up entailed the excavation of several tons of impacted soil and filtration of the groundwater, as well as causing a number of nearby businesses to be shut down for a few days when their basements filled with sewage. Many substantial claims for business interruption and clean-up costs were filed.…

January 24, 2012

Environmental groups, McKeesport settle Marcellus-related lawsuit

Source: http://www.pittsburghlive.com, January 24, 2012

Two environmental groups and McKeesport’s municipal authority have settled a federal lawsuit that claimed the city was violating state and federal environmental laws by treating wastewater from Marcellus shale drilling operations, according to court documents.

Attorneys for both sides and representatives for the city, the municipal authority, Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer ordered the case closed Monday after the attorneys said they reached a settlement.

The judge’s order doesn’t provide any details of the settlement.

The two groups claimed that McKeesport’s sewage treatment plant was accepting drilling wastewater even though its permit doesn’t provide for the treatment of industrial waste. The state Department of Environmental Protection in April asked drillers to stop sending wastewater to municipal sewage treatment plants and asked plants to stop accepting the wastewater.…

January 11, 2012

Waste Water from Hydraulic Fracturing May Have Led to Ohio Earthquakes

Source: http://www.riskandinsurance.com, January 10, 2012
By: Jared Shelly

State regulators have asked for a moratorium on injection wells from fracking.

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing often vehemently declare that the natural gas drilling process leads to unsafe drinking water in homes around fracking sites — sometimes the water is so gaseous it can be lit on fire.

But opponents may now have another talking point, as regulators in Ohio have declared a moratorium at five deep wells in the state, citing a possible link between storing waste water from fracking and seismic activity.

Fracking involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into the earth to break up layers of rock underground, allowing for the extraction of the natural gas trapped in those layers. Much of the waste water from fracking in Pennsylvania is housed in injection wells in Ohio. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ohio has 194 wells, while Pennsylvania only has seven; the state?s geology in large part won?t allow for that method of storing waste water

But the environmental risks of that method of water storage could be dire. Youngstown, Ohio has been hit with 11 earthquakes since December 2010, when D&L Energy Inc. began drilling wastewater deep wells. The most recent was a 4.0 magnitude quake on Dec. 31, which came on the heels of a 2.7 magnitude earthquake on Christmas Eve.

Arkansas regulators declared their own moratorium after earthquakes last year. Youngstown Mayor Charles P. Sammarone even bought himself earthquake insurance, according to news reports.…

December 15, 2011

14 Firms Named as Defendants in Binghamton Wastewater Suit

Source: http://enr.construction.com, December 14, 2011
By: Candy McCampbell

Binghamton, N.Y., and Johnson City, N.Y., and their joint sewage board have gone back into court, detailing design and construction mismanagement problems at the sewage treatment plant where a 100-ft wall collapsed in May.

Defendants now include 10 engineering or construction firms as well as four insurance firms, which are are involved in the $67-million, phase-three upgrade to meet state environmental standards for the outflow that feeds into the Susquehanna River.

Leading the defendants are C&S Engineers Inc., and C&S Companies, Syracuse, N.Y., the engineer-of-record and construction manager for the expansion, and C.O. Falter Construction Corp., Syracuse, which did general construction for the project.

Repairs and reconstruction will cost more than $20 million, according to the lawsuit. Structural studies showed “many fundamental design and construction errors, omissions and defects,” and “large sections of the concrete cells were overstressed and structurally unstable,” the suit contends. The structural review and other reports found “design, safety and construction flaws, defects, errors, omissions and deficiencies in the design, construction and oversight of the Phase III improvements,” it says. The studies show “substantial portions of the structural, mechanical and operational systems at the BJC plant had not been properly designed by C&S,” the suit says. “The BJC Plant is not capable of being used for its intended purposes,” the filing says.…

December 13, 2011

Sewer spill affects Broad River

Source: The State, Columbia, SC, December 13, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

More than 5,000 gallons of sewage have spilled from a prison on Broad River Road, prompting state health officials to warn against fishing or kayaking in the area northwest of downtown Columbia.

Two spills — one Sunday morning and another this morning — leaked sewage into the river and likely sent bacteria levels soaring, said Adam Myrick, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Myrick said the leaks have been stopped as repairs are being made. The section of the river is near the Broad River Correctional Institute in the area of 4460 Broad River Road. It is just upstream from the Interstate 26 bridge.

“Higher than normal bacteria levels can be expected,” Myrick said. “Avoid that area if you can.”

He could not estimate how long contamination would remain a threat to the river before it clears up. An exact amount of the sewage that spilled also was pending. More than 5,000 gallons is notable but is small when compared to a spill of more than 1 million gallons earlier this year along Bluff Road.

The S.C. Department of Corrections, which runs the prison, said the overflow began about 11 a.m. Sunday as a result of sewer pump failure. Myrick said the station had another problem this morning. The pump station is now operational, the Corrections Department said in a news release.

Problems have occurred before in the area of the prison and other nearby correctional facilities. Area utilities officials have in the past blamed prisoners for clogging sewer lines by flushing jumpsuits, plastic, shampoo bottles, underwear and bras down prison toilets. It was not known today whether that had anything to do with the most recent leaks.…

October 25, 2011

More defendants added to Salisbury wastewater lawsuit

Source: http://www.delmarvanow.com, October 22, 2011
By: Sarah Lake

As a jury trial for the city’s lawsuit regarding its faulty wastewater treatment plant approaches, the roster of defendants is growing.

O’Brien & Gere, the company that designed the plant, and Construction Dynamics Group Inc., the project’s construction manager, have filed complaints that will pull a total of five third-party defendants into the lawsuit.

In its original complaint, the city claims OBG and CDG are responsible for numerous design and oversight defects at the new plant and, because the facilities do not function properly, the city is not meeting the requirements of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s issued wastewater discharge permit, for which the city faces civil penalties.

Should OBG and CDG be found responsible for the plant’s defects, these third-party complaints will attempt to hold liable the five companies also associated with the project.…