LCC talk details next steps in cleaning up site of former Reynolds plant

2013-06-13T20:15:00Z LCC talk details next steps in cleaning up site of former Reynolds plantBy Natalie St. John / The Daily News Longview Daily News
June 13, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

Officials from the Department of Ecology and Alcoa outlined the next phase of the cleanup effort at the former Reynolds Aluminum site at a lunch-hour presentation Thursday at Lower Columbia College.

They also gave assurances that the work will be done, even if a proposed coal terminal at the same site is never developed.

James DeMay, who oversees cleanups for the state Department of Ecology, said his department is continuing to investigate the extent of the pollution.

In early 2014, the public will have the opportunity to read and respond to a preliminary study that will outline estimated costs and tasks associated with the cleanup. By late summer 2014, an action plan and dangerous waste permit should be in place, DeMay said.

In the mid-20th century, when there were fewer environmental regulations, workers at Reynolds would regularly dump chemicals on the ground, which seeped into the soil and groundwater. Now, various toxic compounds are present in localized sites around the property. Cyanide and flouride are especially widespread, DeMay said.

Both DeMay and Josh Wilund, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania-based Alcoa, said the planning process is somewhat complicated by the history of the property’s ownership.

Currently, Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa owns the 416-acre site on the Columbia River west of Longview, and must clean the site. However, in 2010, Millennium Bulk Terminals bought the buildings and operations on the site from Chinook Ventures, with hopes of developing it into a $643 million coal export terminal. Alcoa and Millennium are collaborating on the cleanup effort, Wilund said.

Millennium employees have removed about 200,000 tons of debris from the former aluminium smelter, DeMay said.

TDN Online Editor; email: sheisel@tdn.com

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(1) Comments

  1. panzer
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    panzer - June 15, 2013 5:25 pm
    Weyco and Reynolds AL are different entities BUT guess who was Reynolds cable plant exec at the time: now public employee Mr. George Raiter, former Cowlitz County Commissioner & temporary Dir. of County Bldg and Planning Dept. architect of Cowlitz County's purchase of Weyco's Hdqrts. (N end county's ) proposed landfill buy. I do trust that Raiter believes that it is in county's financial interests to assume $50 million taxpayer debt but do we agree? Count me out. Fool's gold/liability.
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