June 24, 2013

Pollution From Mines Leads to Lawsuits

Read here about lawsuits that have been filed by environmentalists as a result of water pollution from reclaimed mine sites.


May 29, 2013

Water Pipe Impact

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

During excavation of a trench for the installation of an underground pipe, the excavation contractor struck a 3-inch water line, resulting in the release of 30,000 gallons of water. The water ran to a storm drain and eventually to a local creek, causing increased turbidity, pH and chlorine levels. The event was reportable to the local environmental agency and may result in monitoring, clean-up costs and fines.…

April 1, 2013

Menhaden Processor Accused of Polluting State Waters

Read here about a menhaden processor in Virginia that is facing water pollution charges.…

June 18, 2012

Naturally occurring level of chromium 6 in Hinkley may never be known

Source: San Bernardino County Sun, June 14, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

How much of the cancer-causing chemical chromium 6 is naturally occurring in the Hinkley Valley?

Board members of the water agency which is overseeing the cleanup of Hinkley’s contaminated groundwater are beginning to see that the answer to that question may never be known.

And they want Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board officials to pursue finding out if a new study can reasonably be expected to determine how much chromium 6 was in the water before San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. began dumping it into unlined ponds, where it seeped in the groundwater, creating a plume that is thought to be more than 5 miles long and nearly 2 miles wide.

The question is important because it sets up what level PG & E needs to reach in order to return to the Hinkley Valley to its natural state.

For a time, water board officials and others thought they had that number.

A study PG & E commissioned at the request of the water board in 2007 found that upper end of the naturally occurring chromium 6 was 3.1 parts per billion.…

April 4, 2012

Industrial Cleaning Contractor – Contaminated Water

Source: Rockhill Environmental/NECC Newsletter

An industrial cleaning contractor was hired to clean a former petroleum storage tank previously used for backup power purposes. Plastic sheeting and an associated dike were placed around the tank to prevent the runoff of contaminated rinse water. The sheeting and dike were not properly placed around the tank allowing a substantial amount of petroleum impacted wash water to migrate onto an adjacent property. The adjacent property owner filed suit for property damage and remediation costs related to the contaminated wash water.…

July 27, 2011

Burst water pipe, more mold discovered at Board of Equalization HQ

Source: http://www.boe.ca.gov, March 26, 2009

The state Board of Equalization said Wednesday it is planning to leave the troubled office building it has called home since 1993 after another watery and moldy weekend at its 450 N St. headquarters.

The agency disclosed its plans after yet another water pipe burst at BOE headquarters Sunday, showering hot water down several floors and leading to the discovery of previously hidden mold on the second, third, sixth and seventh floors and in its ground-floor history museum area.

The flood – and discovery of unseen mold on five floors – forced the agency to put 275 employees on paid leave for at least a week, BOE spokeswoman Anita Gore said.

The BOE’s flood and mold mishap was only, in the words of its director, its latest “water event.”  Six floors – one quarter of the building – are now closed while specialists clear out and decontaminate moldy areas that developed after burst pipes and years of water leaks from defective windows.

The tax collection agency, which has grown over the years, needs office space for 500 staff members immediately. The agency received $5.7 million in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 to rent new space and move employees.…

July 1, 2011

Plumbing Contractor – Contaminated Water

Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division

A plumbing contractor installing a lawn sprinkler system did not install adequate vacuum breakers on the discharge side of the water supply valves. When pressure in a drinking water system fed by the same water main fell below atmospheric pressure, a vacuum was created which caused back-siphonage of stagnant water from the lawn sprinkler system into the drinking water supply. Several people drank from the water supply and contracted dysentery. Costs were incurred to investigate the issue, purge the system and to provide temporary clean water. Suits followed alleging bodily injury.…

April 27, 2011

Tenants say mold problems persist at Winterport apartment complex

Source: Bangor Daily News, Bangor, ME, December 4, 2006
By: Walter Griffin

Residents of the Village Heritage apartments feel they are struggling for every breath.

For the most part elderly and on fixed incomes, the residents have been battling a mold problem in the building for years and have become increasingly worried that the problem is not going to be corrected.

“All we want to do is live naturally,” said Margaret Whittier, motioning to a thrumming air purifier on a nearby end table. “That’s the only thing we have to keep us from coughing. If they would just do something to keep us from coughing.”

According to Thomas A Maxfield Jr., director of management for Liberty Management of Portland, the owner of the complex, the mold problem appears to be one of design and location.…

April 18, 2011

Faulty $1.9M tank sits unused

Source: http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com, April 14, 2011
By Nancy Cook Lauer

Legal fight drags on for 2004 project
The engineering firm that designed a $1.9 million water tank county officials say is defective has been considered for 18 additional county contracts but was awarded only one since the county sued it.

The Department of Water Supply filed a lawsuit against consultant Wesley R. Segawa & Associates in September 2009. The county had paid Segawa $109,300 to design the tank and assist the Water Board during the bidding and construction process. The tank project was paid for with customer fees collected by the department.

The million-gallon water tank has sat, unused, at Komohana and Kawailani streets in Hilo since 2004. The Water Department claims the concrete roof is cracked and sagging because of poor design and deficient steel reinforcement.…

March 17, 2011

Tampa Bay Water, reservoir engineer reach settlement

Source: Tampa Bay Online, February 21, 2011

The region’s water supplier settled today with the general contractor of its faulty reservoir but will continue to pursue a lawsuit against the engineering company that designed the 15-billion gallon structure.

The settlement approved by Tampa Bay Water’s board calls for contractor Barnard Construction and subcontractor McDonald Construction Corp. to pay $750,000 before the case goes to trial. The company also could be liable for up to $5 million, depending on the outcome of the case.

Tampa Bay Water will continue its case against HDR Engineering, the company that designed the massive, above-ground reservoir in southeastern Hillsborough County.

The regional utility is suing to recover some of the $125 million estimated cost to fix cracks in the soil cement covering over the sides and bottom of the reservoir. The reservoir cost $140 million to build.…