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Cleanup order signed for former Kaiser site

Keywords: Tags  TRC Companies, Kaiser Aluminum, Ravenswood, Environmental Protection Agency, cleanup, potliner waste, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — TRC Companies Inc. has signed a consent order agreeing to take measures aimed at preventing the release of cyanide into soil and groundwater at a former Kaiser Aluminum Corp. facility in Ravenswood, W.Va.

The order relates to a 50,000-cubic-yard pile of aluminum smelter potliner waste covering 2.7 acres within the site, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

"Aluminum smelting waste, contained in the spent potliner pile, accumulated between 1972 and 1980, and was awaiting shipment for mineral recycling. The recycling of this type of waste material subsided in the late ’70s, thus necessitating the need to cover it," the EPA said. "The entire waste pile was covered with a polymeric liner in 1981 to prevent contact with stormwater, which could leach cyanide compounds in the waste pile into the groundwater.

"TRC has agreed to repair and maintain the rubber membrane liner to prevent the escape of cyanide from the site," the agency said.

Lowell, Mass.-based TRC took ownership of the pile in 2004 after Kaiser divested itself of the site as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

The site is completely surrounded by Century Aluminum Co.’s smelting facility in Ravenswood.

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