The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        The excavation of contaminated soil at the former Brush Beryllium site near the Village of Luckey began last Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a project update.

        Arleen Kreusch, an outreach program specialist for the Corps, said the material is being stockpiled on-site until there is enough to start sorting it. There are an estimated 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil in the area of the first phase of the remediation project, she said.

        Kreusch said the excavation is starting slowly to ensure procedures such as contamination control and environmental/health monitoring are being followed.

        The Corps has contracted with Portage, Inc., a company based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to be the prime contractor for the clean-up project.

        The site is a former beryllium production facility the Atomic Energy Commission operated in the 1950s as part of the national defense program.

        The Corps has identified soils contaminated with beryllium, lead, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234 and uranium-238 for removal.

        To prevent the spread of contamination during the soil clean-up phase, the Corps is implementing several precautions, including dust control to ensure the soil doesn’t become airborne.

        Also, an on-site weather station will be used to stop work as needed based on the conditions.

        Workers entering the area will be wearing protective clothing and personal breathing air monitors. When they exit, their protective clothing will be removed and disposed and they will shower on site.

        Kreusch said on-site office trailers will be routinely surveyed for contamination and there will be air sampling in and around the excavation areas during work and continuously around the perimeter of the site. The sampling will monitor for beryllium, lead and radionuclides.

        She said the air monitors are pre-set to activate at levels below what are considered to be a problem, allowing the excavation work to stop and a cause for the alarm to be found.

        Materials that are being transported for disposal will be bagged and loaded into containers. Vehicles transporting the soils and other equipment will be inspected prior to leaving.

        The Corps announced in November that contaminated soils from the site won’t be disposed at the Evergreen landfill in Northwood.

        The U.S. Ecology Wayne Disposal Facility, Belleville, Mich., received approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to receive soils.

        The initial stages of the clean-up have focused on lagoons along the site’s southern boundary along Gilbert Road. From there, crews will work on trenches north of the lagoons.




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