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Century ordered to update Ravenswood cleanup plan

Keywords: Tags  Century Aluminum, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Ravenswood smelter, West Virginia plant, environmental cleanup, aluminum, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Century Aluminum Co. to develop an updated cleanup plan for its property in Ravenswood, W.Va.

Century has reviewed the EPA’s findings and "will fully comply" with corrective measures required by the agency, a spokesman for the Chicago-based company said.

Restarting the Ravenswood smelter, which has been idled for more than four years (, Feb. 4, 2009), "remains a priority" for the company, he said.

Century has said that it hopes to have a decision on whether it will restart the idled Ravenswood smelter by the end of the second quarter (, April 29).

The EPA, which is overseeing a cleanup at the Ravenswood property, said June 5 that soil and groundwater in the area are contaminated with cyanide, fluoride, lead, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Under the EPA’s order, Century must produce a materials management plan that identifies specific locations where contaminants remain, and put in place safeguards for any future construction or excavation in those areas. The plan must be approved by the EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the agency said.

The order also restricts the company from using groundwater beneath the Ravenswood property as drinking water and using the site for anything other than industrial activity until it has been demonstrated that there is no threat to human health or the environment, the EPA said.

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