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cleanup 32 articles

Former Michigan chemical plant gets $10M EPA cleanup

A former chemical plant in Michigan will get an additional $10 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in efforts to clean up the site, which is contaminated with toxic waste. The Velsicol Chemical Corp. plant in St. Louis, which has been shut down since 1978, is one of the nation’s largest superfund sites. The cleanup, which is expected to take about 18 months, involves thermal treatment of the soil, a process that utilizes special equipment to heat the soil and treat the containers of toxins on the plant property. Velsicol was a producer of many chemicals from toxic flame retardant PBB, ... Read More

Judge allows suit to move forward against cleanup companies for improper chemical dumping following West Virginia spill

Two West Virginia waste management companies charged with cleanup of a chemical spill that polluted the Elk River lost their bid to have an environmental lawsuit filed against them in a West Virginia federal court thrown out. The City of Hurricane, W.V., and the Putnam County Commission filed the lawsuit in May, alleging that Waste Management Inc. and Disposal Service Inc. improperly disposed to toxic chemicals it collected from the January 9 spill caused by a Freedom Industries coal-cleaning plant. The plaintiffs accuse the two companies of dumping propylene glycol phenyl ether, dipropylene glycol phenyl ether, and crude MCHM containing ... Read More

Nationwide fruit recall expanded over concerns of Listeria Monocytogenes contamination

A nationwide recall on nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots potentially contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria has been expanded to include additional retailers and store items made with the affected fruit. Cutler, Calif.-based Wawona Packing Co. voluntarily recalled the fruit on July 19 after an Australian importer’s test detected slight levels of the Listeria bacteria on three peaches. Wawona said in a statement that the Listeria it found fell “within tolerance levels” set by the Australian government. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has a zero-tolerance rule for listeria monocytogenes, prompting Wawona to retain a private laboratory to ... Read More

California fruit company issues nationwide recall after finding Listeria contamination

CUTLER, Calif. — A California fruit distributer has recalled several lots of nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots sent out to retailers nationwide over fears that it could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Wawona Packing Co. President Brent Smittercamp said that the company was recalling the products after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Internal testing at Wawona’s Tulare County packing facility in central California found some of the fruit to be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious illness and may be fatal to young children the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals ... Read More

Proposed transportation budget would take $1 billion from underground storage tank cleanup fund

Hoping to avert a nationwide shutdown of federal transportation projects, the House Ways and Means Committee has proposed a plan that would temporarily replenish the nearly dried-up Highway Trust Fund and bankroll infrastructure projects through May 15, 2015. The bipartisan plan would rely on unusual methods to replenish federal transportation funds, including taking money from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) fund used to clean up environmentally contaminated sites. The 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax used to fund federal transportation projects has not kept pace with the nation’s infrastructure needs for various reasons. The tax has not been raised in more than ... Read More

Pipeline rupture leaves section of California City knee-deep in oil

Half a square mile of Glendale, Calif., in Los Angeles County is knee-deep in crude oil after an estimated 10,000 gallons of crude oil escaped from a ruptured above-ground pipeline in the early morning hours on Friday. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that it had crews in the area “hand vacuuming” the spilled oil, “mopping what’s left behind, and pressure washing the area with a sap solution,” according to Reuters. The leak was first reported about 12:15 a.m. Pacific time in the 5100 block of San Fernando Road and shot up to 50 feet in the air, according to ... Read More

West Virginia chemical spill continues to taint water supply, sicken residents

Private water sampling in homes affected by the Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia found traces of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) in 40 percent of homes a month after more than 10,000 gallons of chemicals spilled into the Elk River upstream of a major municipal water treatment facility. Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies, the environmental consulting firm that conducted the tests, told Think Progress that all of the homes sampled had flushed their plumbing as recommended by West Virginia American Water, which supplies water to residents of nine counties and Charleston, the state’s largest city. Some of the homes had flushed ... Read More

Federal Grand jury investigating Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia

A federal grand jury has launched a criminal investigation into the West Virginia chemical spill that contaminated a river and water supply for the state’s largest city, leaving 300,000 people without water. According to CNN, subpoenas requiring testimony have been issued to those who may have knowledge of the Jan. 9 spill, which occurred at a Freedom Industries facility when an aging above-ground tank on the banks of the Elk River leaked 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) and about 300 gallons of polyglycol ethers (PPH), toxic chemicals the company used in its coal-washing processes. The chemicals also spilled past a secondary containment area ... Read More

Freedom Industries admits additional chemical was involved in West Virginia spill

The company responsible for a chemical leak that contaminated the tap water for hundreds of thousands of people in West Virginia initially failed to disclose all of the chemicals involved the spill, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection said. The state agency gave Freedom Industries until 4 p.m. Wednesday to report all of the contents of an above-ground storage tank that leaked January 9, spilling thousands of gallons of  crude 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, just one mile upriver from the water treatment plant that provides water to the state’s largest city, Charleston, and nine counties. However, on ... Read More

West Virginia chemical spill triggers investigations, hearings on existing laws

CHARLESTON, W.V.–The massive chemical spill that has left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without running water prompted the state attorney general to vow to “get to the bottom” of the disaster. “One of our primary concerns will be that West Virginians have answers to their questions about what happened, why it happened, and how this could have been prevented,” Attorney General Patrick Morrissey said in a statement. “We need to make sure this never happens again and that responsible parties are held accountable.” The chemical leak originated at Freedom Industries Inc., when an aging above-ground tank on the banks ... Read More