Marine Shale site cleanup slated to be completed Aug. 27

AMELIA, La. -- Waste removal at the former Marine Shale Processors Site in Amelia is scheduled to be completed Aug. 23 with final clean-up and demobilization of all equipment and materials at the site to be finished by Aug. 27, according to a Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality official.

The completion date, which as of April was scheduled to be June 26, was pushed back due to the discovery of additional previously unidentified waste material including asbestos in the supplemental kiln that had to be cleared out before the kiln could be demolished, Vicki Hadwin of the department’s remediation services division said in an email.

In addition, some of the larger structures on the site had deteriorated so badly that the demolition had to be done in smaller units due to safety concerns, Hadwin said.

“Overall, the demolition and waste removal at Marine Shale Processors has gone very well,” Hadwin said.

Waste was removed from all tanks and process equipment, including all piping and support equipment from the plant, she said. All of the tanks, piping and structures used in the incineration process and to store untreated waste have been demolished, Hadwin said.

Nearly 41,000 gallons of hazardous liquid; 192,500 gallons of non-hazardous liquid; nearly 5,800 tons of hazardous solids; 91 tons of non-hazardous solids; and about 2,500 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris have been removed and properly disposed, Hadwin said.

More than 745,000 gallons of contact water, which consists of rainwater that was contained and collected from active work areas and water, was used to decontaminate equipment, Hadwin said. More than 2,400 tons of scrap metal were sent for recycling, she said.

Contractors were hired by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to clean out the hazardous waste materials and other material on the site, including in the primary kiln, tank farm, the oxidizer and the barge areas by Bayou Boeuf, Hadwin said in April.

In 1985, Marine Shale Processors began incinerating hazardous wastes, reducing them to ash, according to the cooperative agreement between the department and Marine Shale Processors. Marine Shale Processors ceased operating the site in 1996 but left behind storage tanks and bins containing incinerated waste residues and untreated wastes, onsite stockpiles of incinerated wastes and untreated waste, and fill material composed of incinerated waste material, the agreement stated.

The Department of Environmental Quality announced at the end of January that cleanup work would resume in February after the initial cleanup phase was completed in 2008. That initial phase was to clean up tanks on the site that were leaking, Hadwin said.

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