Contaminated material to be disposed of at Michigan and Ohio landfills

The Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to dispose of contaminated material removed from the former Brush Beryllium site near Luckey, Ohio, at the Waste Management Evergreen Landfill in Northwood, Ohio, and the U.S. Ecology Landfill in Wayne, Michigan.

The corps has identified soils contaminated with beryllium, lead, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234 and uranium-238 as needing to be excavated and disposed off-site.

Corps is estimating the cost will be $244 million. Two buildings at the site will reportedly have to be removed to fully address the contamination. The corps estimates about 137,467 cubic yards of soil need to be excavated, including 7,600 cubic yards of adjacent clean soil.

Another 47,858 cubic yards of contaminated building debris may also be removed from the site.

The site was used to process beryllium in the early 1950s and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) sent about 1,000 tons of radioactive scrap metal there for processing magnesium. Beryllium scrap containing some radioactive materials from other AEC operations also was sent to Luckey for reprocessing.

The current property owner, Industrial Properties Recovery LLC (IPR), purchased the property in 2006 and began demolishing several buildings. The Ohio Department of Health ordered IPR to cease the demolition of buildings and handling of any radioactive material in December 2006. The site also was deemed a public health and safety concern by the Wood County Health District; and the Wood County Common Pleas Court issued an injunction against IPR in June 2009, which required the company to either demolish or make necessary repairs to site structures and salvage or properly dispose of all debris.

The company resumed demolition and salvage activities during late 2013. Later that year, the health department issued another order for the company to cease the removal of material from the site unless it has been confirmed as not having radioactive contamination.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued an order to halt demolition in January 2014 until IPR complies with asbestos and air quality regulations.

FirstEnergy completes demolition of Cleveland power station

A 306-foot brick and concrete stack and 170-foot boiler house at Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy’s Lake Shore plant in Cleveland were demolished Feb. 24, using more than 200 pounds of explosives. The structures fell in about 10 seconds.

Charges were detonated at approximately 1:00 a.m. To ensure public safety, FirstEnergy worked closely with the Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Fire Department, Cleveland Department of Building and Housing and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The implosion event was the culmination of more than 18 months of demolition work at the site. To prepare for the activities, a professional explosives demolition team from Tulsa, Oklahoma, set charges in the structures for the explosives. Some of the concrete and rebar were removed from the structures to direct the angle of the buildings’ fall. Dust suppression systems consisting of large fans and water sprayers surrounded the site to help contain the concrete and dirt particles.

The Lake Shore plant was fully retired in early 2015, and demolition preparation activities began that summer. Property clean-up, removal of scrap metal and concrete debris, and planting grass on the site is expected to be complete by this fall. Following the demolition, FirstEnergy will continue to own the 57-acre site and to operate the electric transmission equipment located on the property.