Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

By Kevin Miller
Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

A federal appeals court has ordered the former owner of the HoltraChem plant to pay for detailed studies of mercury pollution in the Penobscot River downstream from the contaminated Orrington site.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejected Mallinckrodt Inc.'s appeal of a court-mandated environmental study of the river from Orrington to Penobscot Bay.

[url=http://www.bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=144787&zoneid=...

charlotte
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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

Sounds like the right thing for the company to do.

Editor
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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

PRESS RELEASE
Mallinckrodt LLC Announces Appeal of Maine Department of Environmental Protection Order

Last update: 8:00 a.m. EST Dec. 8, 2008

ST. LOUIS, Dec 08, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Mallinckrodt LLC today announced that it has filed an action in the federal District Court of Maine to enjoin the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from enforcing an order that requires Mallinckrodt to implement extreme and unnecessary remediation measures at the former HoltraChem chlor-alkali manufacturing facility in Orrington, Maine.

[b]The Maine DEP's Order requires Mallinckrodt to undertake an extensive and unwarranted cleanup that includes the excavation of five landfills that contain mercury-impacted soil. Some of the landfills have been in place for more than 25 years.[/b]

"Removing a significant quantity of soil that is currently contained in monitored landfills would risk exposing the public to mercury that is already secured," said Kathryn A. Zeigler, Director of Environmental Remediation for Mallinckrodt. "We are challenging the Maine DEP's Order due to the lack of technical justification for this remedial option."

In order to protect public health and the environment, Mallinckrodt has undertaken stabilization and remediation measures at the former HoltraChem facility at a cost of more than $35 million over the past 15 years. Mallinckrodt's efforts, designed to reduce the risk of mercury releases to the ground or atmosphere, have included stabilization of on-site landfills; a phased dismantling and removal of buildings, equipment and infrastructure; and the removal of additional structures that are anticipated to be in the area of future remedial activities or that the Maine DEP has deemed to be safety hazards.

These actions were taken at the recommendation of Mallinckrodt's outside consultants, Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM), an internationally renowned engineering and construction firm.

Mallinckrodt also has retained CDM to operate an ongoing wastewater treatment system at the Maine site. Data from a comprehensive monitoring program show that the termination of manufacturing operations at the former HoltraChem facility in 2001, combined with the remediation work already performed, is improving site groundwater conditions. In addition, recent surface water discharges from the facility are below applicable license limits. There are no current environmental conditions at the site that require emergency action.

More than five years ago, following its evaluation of numerous clean-up alternatives, CDM recommended a remedy that included excavation of mercury-impacted soils and sediments; treatment of elemental mercury; consolidation and capping of excavated materials; capping of Landfill #2; construction of a groundwater treatment system; and ongoing monitoring. CDM and Mallinckrodt continue to assert that capping of the landfills onsite is the best environmental option for the former HoltraChem facility.

The Maine DEP's Order, which was signed by the Maine DEP Commissioner on November 24, 2008, requires the excavation of all plant area soils with mercury levels above the state's clean-up standards for the site and the excavation of all five landfills, among other activities. CDM previously had examined and rejected this remedial option, because excavating the landfills would expose the public and the environment to potentially harmful amounts of mercury, would be extremely costly with no environmental benefit and would require the shipment of large amounts of waste to a licensed facility in Canada - an estimated 60,000 truck trips carrying approximately 360,000 tons of soil. Additional negative effects on the environment from the state's remediation plan would include the release of carbon dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide into the air.

"We respectfully disagree with the state's decision to pursue a course of action that risks mercury exposure to the public by excavating materials that are already encapsulated in landfills," Zeigler said. "We have been working in coordination with state and federal environmental officials, including the Maine DEP, to develop a thoughtful, long-term remediation solution. Our goal continues to be an environmentally sound restoration of this site and its eventual reuse for the benefit of the community."

SOURCE: Covidien

Covidien
JoAnna Schooler, 314-654-3543
Communications Director
Imaging Solutions and Pharmaceuticals
joanna.schooler@covidien.com
or
David T. Young, 508-261-6330
Media Relations Manager
Corporate Communications
david.young@covidien.com
or
Coleman Lannum, CFA, 508-452-4343
Vice President
Investor Relations
cole.lannum@covidien.com
or
Wayde McMillan, 508-452-4387
Director
Investor Relations
wayde.mcmillan@covidien.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008

J. McKane
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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

Did Mallinckrodt LLC own HoltraChem while they were dumping mercury into the Penobscot and other places? As I remember, HoltraChem was told to stop and just kept paying the fines and dumping the mercury.

Editor
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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

Here's an interesting HoltraChem "cleanup" alliance.

http://www.asmainegoes.com/node/15150

It has been years since I followed this story. I think HoltraChem is the familiar story of what was once legal and permitted is now an environmental outrage. Plus, dollars to donuts there's all kinds of federal money available for cleaning HoltraChem soil until kids can eat it for breakfast.

skf

J. McKane
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Court: HoltraChem owner must pay for mercury studies

[quote="Editor"]
It has been years since I followed this story. I think HoltraChem is the familiar story of what was once legal and permitted is now an environmental outrage. [/quote] Are you implying that we should go back to the old environmental ways of dumping anything and everything into the nearest water source?

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