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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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 A resolution opposing the disposal of waste from a former Brush Berylium site near Luckey into the Waste Management Evergreen landfill is being considered by Walbridge village council.

 Council on Wednesday heard the first reading of the resolution, which says the disposal will cause an environmental concern for village residents, and Mayor Ed Kolanko said he expects it to pass unanimously during council’s next meeting.

 “One of our council members was absent and we decided we would like to have the full council here to vote on it,” he said.

The Luckey property is being cleaned up through the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program of the Army Corps of Engineers.  From 1949 to 1958 the site was operated as a beryllium production facility under contract to the Atomic Energy Commission that resulted in soil and groundwater being contaminated with lead as well as beryllium.  The facility also received scrap steel containing radioactive residues from the then Niagara Falls Storage Site used to store residues and wastes from uranium ore processing, according to the corps.

 The Walbridge resolution says the “proposal for the collection of the soil will be to excavate, package and transport the materials to an off-site facility (Waste Management) is, in the opinion of the council of the Village of Walbridge, a clear infringement on the quality of air in and around the village.”

 It requests that the corps “develop a safer means of disposing of the contaminated material from the…site and that no material be taken to the Waste Management landfill, either bagged or loose.”  

Tom Horton, a spokesman for Waste Management, said the landfill is only permitted to accept non-hazardous material.

 “Any material that comes into that site has to meet the regulatory standards for non-hazardous wastes established by the Ohio EPA. We are not going to be a recipient of hazardous and radioactive materials,” he said.

 The corps said in its March newsletter material from the Luckey site will be disposed of at the Waste Management landfill in Northwood and the U.S. Ecology Landfill in Wayne, Mich.

 However, Horton said Waste Management hasn’t been officially notified it will be receiving any of the material and a May 16 letter from John Pasquarette, environmental manager of the Ohio EPA’s Division of Materials and Waste Management, to a landfill manager indicates the facility was still looking for clarity in what it could accept.

 Responding to an inquiry from Steve Lonneman, district manager of Evergreen Recycling and Disposal Facility, the EPA’s Pasquarette writes: “Contaminated soil is permitted to be disposed in a solid waste landfill in Ohio provided it is not a hazardous waste, regulated radioactive waste, or waste material regulated in accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act.”

 The letter also states any radioactive material from the Luckey site must be evaluated to determine if it falls under regulations established by the Ohio Department of Health. Solid waste landfills aren’t permitted to accept such wastes.

 The landfill has indicated it would prefer to handle any material from the Luckey site in a separate area from its other operations.

 “Since the material is expected to be transported and disposed in bags to guard against beryllium dust generation, it is our understanding that if WMI (Waste Management) should receive any of the material, WMI would prefer to manage the material in a separate working face with appropriate handling procedures to guard against dust generation as the waste is placed,” the letter says. “As previously discussed, a separate authorization to allow WMI to operate two separate working faces would need to be requested and approved by Ohio EPA’s director to allow for these unique handling practices to be authorized.”

 

 

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