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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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 Contaminated material removed from the former Brush Beryllium site near Luckey will be disposed of at the Waste Management Evergreen Landfill in Northwood and the U.S. Ecology Landfill in Wayne, Mich., the Army Corps of Engineers says in its March newsletter about the remedial project.

 The material will be trucked south from the site on Luckey Road, west on Middleton Pike Road and then north on Interstate 75, according to the Corps of Engineers.

 “The plan calls for trucks to avoid leaving the site during the early morning or late afternoon, when people are going to and from work, or when school buses are picking up or dropping off children,” the newsletter says.

 Under its Former Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, the corps has identified soils contaminated with beryllium, lead, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234, and uranium-238 as  needing to be excavated and disposed off-site.

 An initial cost estimate for removing the soil and related work was $59.4 million but after additional research the corps is estimating the cost will be closer to $244 million.  The corps attributes the higher cost to an increase in the estimated amount of contaminated soil, some of which is located beneath at least two buildings at the site that would have to be removed to fully address the contamination.  In all, the corps is estimating about 137,467 cubic yards of soil need to be excavated, including about 7,600 cubic yards of adjacent clean soil.  

Another 47,858 cubic yards of contaminated building debris may also be removed.

 

Information forum set

 The corps will hold what it is calling an “availability session” on March 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for residents in the Luckey area to view plans for cleaning up the plant.

 The session will be held at the American Legion Post 240, 335 Park Dr.  Corps personnel will be at the session to answer questions and there will be project posters on display but there will not be a formal presentation.

   The site was used to process beryllium in the early 1950s and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission sent about 1,000 tons of radioactive scrap metal there for processing magnesium. Although it was never used, the scrap was stored on site. Records also indicate that beryllium scrap – some radioactive -  from other AEC operations was sent to Luckey for reprocessing.

 In 1959, the AEC contracted with Brush Beryllium Co. to close the facility. Two years later, the site was purchased by Aluminum and Magnesium, Inc. and in 1968 Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. bought the site.  In 1987, the property was transferred to Motor Wheel Corp. Former Motor Wheel executives bought the site and formed Uretech International, Inc. in 1995.

 The current property owner, Industrial Properties Recovery, LLC , an industrial scrapping business, purchased the property in 2006 and began demolishing several buildings including the former annex building, according to a history of the site compiled by the corps.

 In December 2006, the Ohio Department of Health ordered IPR to cease the demolition of buildings and handling of any radioactive material.  The Wood County Health District deemed the site a public health and safety concern and the Wood County Common Pleas Court issued an injunction against IPR in June 2009, requiring the company to either demolish or make necessary repairs to site structures and salvage or properly dispose of all debris.

The company resumed demolition and salvage activities during late 2013, including partial demolition of a former production building.  In December 2013, the health department issued another order for the company to cease the removal of material from the site unless it has been confirmed as not having radioactive contamination.

 In January 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued an order to halt demolition of site buildings until the company complies with state asbestos and air quality regulations.

 An email message left last week with the agency’s division of environmental revitalization and response for comment wasn’t returned.

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