|The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to address contamination at Flura Chemical. During the weeks of September 11 and September 18, 2000, EPA will conduct on-site treatment of several waste containers identified as shock-sensitive, friction-sensitive, and explosive. Approximately 250 laboratory containers will be treated through thermal destruction to completely render the reactive and unstable material safe.
Future operations will include further identification and treatment of approximately 625 cylinders. Operations will focus on addressing highly reactive and poisonous gases identified within the cylinders located throughout the laboratory and storage buildings. These actions will require specialized equipment and expertise for specifically dealing with reactive gases. The removal and treatment process is estimated to continue another six to eight months. Hazardous waste burial areas around the perimeter of the site are expected to be assessed in late 2000. Additional information will be provided after assessment of these areas.
Since April 2000, there have been approximately 30 responses to the site to stabilize, treat and dispose of hazardous constituents to protect the public and environment. EPA has been assisted in this effort by multiple support groups that include: the U.S. Coast Guard, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, the Emergency Response Team, and ERRS, START and REAC contractors. Additionally, local and state support has continued throughout the removal action.
The EPA has continued the inventory of all chemical containers, drums, storage tanks and cylinders located within the laboratory building. More than 4,500 containers have been hazard categorized for waste identification since April 2000. Approximately 100 drums have been transported off-site for treatment and disposal at permitted facilities. More than 250 pounds of liquid acids and base waste have been neutralized on-site. Several of the site structures are being assessed so that waste can be removed for future treatment. Several loads of scrap material have been transported off-site for recycling. As of August 2000, approximately 90 yards of nonhazardous miscellaneous waste and debris have been transported off-site to a permitted facility.
Flura Corporation was a synthesizer of fluoridated bromine compounds, and uses a large volume and variety of chemicals in its operations, including a variety of gases in canisters and tanks. The chemicals include acids, caustics, flammable liquids, oxidizers, reactive compounds, volatile organic compounds and halogenated compounds. EPA ordered the facility to cease operations in March 2000 after a second 7003 Order was issued under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The removal action is taking place under the authority and direction of the Agency's Emergency Response and Removal Branch.