EPA, Coast Guard cleaning up millions of gallons of hazardous sludge, liquids at CA pulp mill

Sponsored by


SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 11, 2014 -- Millions of gallons of hazardous materials and toxic sludge are being removed from the former Samoa Pulp Mill site in Samoa, Calif., as part of a joint cleanup effort between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, Jared Blumenfeld, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2), and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector San Francisco Commander Captain Gregory Stump, announced the cleanup at a ceremony held at the site located near Eureka, Calif., on Friday, March 28.

From its investigation, EPA determined all storage tanks holding the hazardous waste were leaking or failing, and several of the tanks posed an immediate risk to human health and the environment due to potential runoff from the site to Humboldt Bay, which is only 800 feet from the site. Waste from the site will be trucked to a facility in Longview, Wash., for treatment and reuse. Following site cleanup, the Harbor District of Humboldt Bay plans to reuse the site for aquaculture purposes, including the oyster and caviar farming.

Approximately 20 tanks containing 3 million gallons of highly-caustic liquids, 10,000 gallons of various acids, 10,000 tons of corrosive sludge, 3,000 gallons of turpentine, several laboratories with approximately 1,000 containers of a wide range of chemicals, and several thousand containers of various types will be removed as part of the effort.

The former Samoa Pulp Mill site is a 70-acre industrial pulp manufacturing facility that had been in operation from 1963 until 2008. After preparations for a potential resumption of mill activities failed in August 2013, the site was sold to the harbor district. Shortly thereafter, EPA was contacted by the district for assistance to assess the site under the Agency's emergency cleanup program.

EPA's Pacific Southwest Region's Superfund Emergency Response Program responds to environmental disasters, hazardous materials releases and inland oil spills that threaten human health and/or the environment throughout the region. The program participates, on average, in 25 hazardous waste cleanups every year, in addition to several oil spills, and investigates another 20 to 30. Sites range in complexity from chemical waste dumps to residential yards contaminated with legacy mining waste.

See also:

"Maine pulp mill pays fine for Clean Water Act violations"

"Pulp & Paper: A Look at Wastewater Treatment Trends and Technologies"

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Clearing Things Up at Prequannock WTP

In 2010, the city of Newark, N.J., retained Hatch Mott MacDonald to investigate potential solutions to a problem at Pequannock WTP. Decant tanks were providing minimal solids removal as a result of removed tube settlers from deterioration. Inclined plate settlers were identified as a feasible alternative for improving supernatant water quality and were selected for pilot testing.

Be the Change: Embracing New Approaches to Foster Innovation in the Water Industry

The pressure to accommodate change will drive our traditionally risk-averse industry to embrace new and different approaches at an accelerated pace. Further, the demand for a zero-energy footprint will also drive improvements in co-generation efficiencies, energy conservation and recovery methods, and comprehensive resource recovery.

CDC preparing Ebola guidance for wastewater treatment personnel

In a recent conference call with AWWA and other major water organizations, the CDC shared it has prepared and is conducting an expedited internal review of an interim guidance on wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of the Ebola virus by wastewater treatment processes.

New partnership to measure farmers' conservation impacts on U.S. water quality

The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced a new partnership that will provide a clearer picture of the benefits of farmers' conservation practices on the quality of the nation's waters. 

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA