Top Stories - June 16, 2016

 

EPA Reaches Settlement with Acme Foundry

EPA Region 7 reached an administrative settlement with Acme Foundry, Inc., of Coffeyville, Kan., to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Under the settlement, Acme Foundry must comply with its industrial stormwater permit, pay a penalty of $28,975, and implement a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).

EPA investigations in March 2015 found that Acme Foundry, Inc., failed to comply with its industrial stormwater permit due to unauthorized discharges containing pollutants. The company failed to:

  • develop and update an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan;
  • implement best management practices to reduce the amount of pollutants in stormwater;
  • perform facility inspections;
  • conduct annual comprehensive site compliance evaluations;
  • conduct visual stormwater monitoring; and
  • conduct employee training

Under a previously issued administrative compliance order, Acme Foundry is addressing each of the violations and will install and maintain structural and non-structural controls to bring the facility into compliance with its industrial stormwater permit.

Under this settlement, Acme Foundry will pay a $28,975 penalty for their alleged stormwater permit violations and complete a SEP by Jan. 1, 2017, estimated at $600,000, to replace the existing wet scrubber air emissions control with a fabric filter, reducing air emissions.

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Australia’s First Commercial Graphene Production Facility

On June 14, Imagine IM officially opened Australia’s first commercial graphene production facility. The grand opening of the North Geelong (Victoria) site included Imagine’s team and representatives from Geofabrics Australasia. The companies discussed graphene-enhanced geotextiles.

Also on hand were representatives of the graphene production plant’s developers (Austeng), members of the Australian press, and Federal MP Sarah Henderson, who represents the Division of Corangamite.

Graphene offers high electrical and thermal conductivity, hydrophobicity, strength, and impermeability to all gases. Layers of graphene could give materials strength exceeding steel, enable self-repairing qualities, and impart an electrical conductivity greater than copper. In geosynthetics, this may create nanocomposite materials with superior anti-clogging properties in geotextiles, heightened leak location ability in lining systems, a wider range of conductive materials, and much more.

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Upstate New York Innovation Aids in Canada Fire Aftermath

LSC Environmental Products LLC, an upstate New York manufacturer of premier spray applied environmental coatings, is assisting with the massive re-entry effort in the aftermath of the devastating fires in Alberta, Canada. The fires, which have leveled countless acres of forest, have also destroyed more than 2,400 homes and displaced thousands of families in the close knit community of Fort McMurray.

Posi-Shell®, LSC’s flagship product, is being applied by a local Canadian contractor to help prevent ash and toxic particles from becoming airborne or washing into waterways. Posi-Shell® is a patented blend of clay binders, reinforcing fibers and polymers that when mixed with water, produce a spray-applied mortar that dries in the form of a thin durable stucco. LSC’s products have been utilized in other major clean-up efforts, including the aftermath of 9/11, and are sought after for their efficacy, environmental sensitivity, and easy removal as long term cleanup plans are implemented.

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SOLitude Lake Management Expands with Acquisition of AquatiCO in North Carolina

SOLitude Lake Management, an industry leader in lake and pond management, fisheries management and related environmental services for the United States, has expanded in North Carolina with the acquisition of AquatiCO, Inc. located in Shallotte.

AquatiCO, founded by Michael Norton, has been managing aquatic resources for clients in Brunswick County and surrounding areas within North Carolina and South Carolina since 2008. Michael, along with Nic Butler, an aquatic specialist with AquatiCO, have joined the SOLitude team. They bring with them a broad range of lake and pond management experience, with a particular focus on aquatic vegetation control and stormwater pond management.

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Small Environmental Company Removes 3,000,000 lbs. Of Contaminants

Brownfield Science & Technology (BSTI), a consulting and remediation firm, recently announced that they have eclipsed the three-million-pound mark in remediating industrial contaminants from the environment that could have otherwise ended up in soil and groundwater. Contaminants included unwelcomed and unhealthy substances such as gasoline, dry cleaning chemicals, solvents and industrial wastes.

“All of us at BSTI grew up feeling a special connection to the natural environment. Here we are, years later, getting to do cool science for a living in a way that also makes the environment healthier for our families and provides special personal rewards for us. Even the efforts of a smaller firm like ours greatly reduce the levels of industrial chemicals contaminating our region,” says John Kollmeier, Vice President of BSTI.

The science behind environmental remediation is quite detailed, and those three million pounds don’t add up easily. Often, the BSTI scientists are working on a parts-per-billion level because some chemicals are harmful and can even cause cancer at very low concentrations. Just five drops of benzene, a chemical in gasoline and other common substances, can contaminate enough drinking water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

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