Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | October 7, 2008

Lawyer Sanders says U.S. EPA moving forward with enforcement action at LWD hazardous waste incinerator site in Calvert City, Kentucky.

LWD, Inc.’s hazardous waste incinerator located in Calvert City, Kentucky began operation in the late 1960’s and received its last shipment of hazardous waste in early 2003.  The LWD site is 32-acres in size and contains a hazardous waste incinerator and a landfill.  When it operated, LWD was one of the largest hazardous waste facilities in the entire U.S.  In fact, according to Hazard Waste Annual Reports reviewed by U.S. EPA, LWD received about 1,270,000,000 pounds of hazardous waste from more than 4,000 generators. 

 

Six separate entities operated the LWD facility from the early 1970’s through the beginning of 2003 when the incinerator was abandoned with a large volume of wastes left on-site.  According to U.S. EPA records, more than 4000 generators sent hazardous wastes to the facility from 1980 through 2003.  On June 30, 2003, LWD, Inc., was forced into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by its creditors.   LWD’s bankruptcy  is still ongoing at this time.

 

In February 2006, the LWD facility was referred to U.S. EPA’s Emergency Response and Removal Branch (“ERRB”) by the State of Kentucky for a removal action in February 2006.   When EPA arrived at the site, inspectors noticed that LWD’s containment area surrounding a tank farm on the north end of the facility was becoming full of collecting rainwater.  The rainwater was mixing with oils and other chemicals in the containment area to produce a hazardous waste.  At the time of inspection, waste was approximately 4-feet-deep and only 3-feet from overtopping the containment area walls.  

 

EPA declared an emergency to address the uncontrolled pollution at the tank farm.  The initial phase of EPA’s response action consisted of pumping the water out of the containment area, cleaning the cement, and stabilizing the tanks for any leaks.  EPA also began a removal assessment at the facility to address future removal needs and enforcement process.  

During the removal action, EPA treated more than 1.3 million gallons of wastewater on-site; it decontaminated a tank Farm and roll-off boxes; it removed for disposal off-site approximately 800 tons of hazardous waste; and removed approximately 2 tons of hazardous material from the LWD site.  As of July 9, 2008, EPA incurred $3.77 million in oversight costs. 

EPA estimates that settling PRPs spent approximately $ 7.5 million dollars to conduct the removal work directed by the AOC.  Although the removal is completed, environmental remediation work at LWD’ site is ongoing and the cost and remedy will not be known until field sampling and analysis are complete.

 

EPA conducted a PRP meeting in Calvert City on September 5, 2008 attending to negotiate a settlement with PRPs.  No word yet on the outcome of this meeting.

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