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{Regional Rats} Grand Calumet Sediment Spill

via [ Post-Trib ] “Hauler of no help, cleanup crew says” by Teresa Auch Schultz

HAMMOND — Officials are at a loss to know what, if any, pollutants were in a spill on 165th Street on Monday because the hauling company doesn’t have the necessary records, an official said.

The spill happened when a truck carrying sediment from the Grand Calumet dredging project was cut off by another driver and hit the breaks around 11 a.m. Monday on 165th between Columbia Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard, said Ron Novak, Hammond environmental manager director.

The material in the truck shifted and spilled onto the road, causing police to shut it down for about three to four hours, Hammond Police Lt. Rich Hoyda said.

Novak said the problem is knowing what was in the material because the company in charge of the dredging project, Sevenson Environmental Services Inc. of Merrillville, didn’t have a manifest or a material data safety sheet, both of which would approximate how much of pollutants were in the load.

“It boils down to material being shipped and us not knowing what the material was,” Novak said.

Emergency responders rely on the information because chemicals need to be treated in certain ways, depending on which chemicals are present, he said. There’s also the possibility of pollutants getting into the sewers, he said, although Novak wasn’t sure if there was a possibility of that in the spill area.

Novak said he did not know if the company was required as part of the city’s contract to have the manifest or material data safety sheet.

The Fire Department Hazmat crew came out and called the hauling company, Zerene Trucking and Excavating from Thornton, Ill., to clean it up, said Kevin Margraf, chief fire inspector.

The company scooped most of the spill up and then laid down absorbant material and spread sand, Novak said. Initial reports had the spill as being large enough to cover four lanes and officials calling for a dump truck and front-end loader, Margraf said.

However, Novak said it was actually smaller, about 8 inches deep by 15 inches by 30 inches.

This is the second local spill by Zerene. Novak said the company reported another spill, also caused when a driver had to break for another vehicle, in Schererville.

Novak said the company is looking at several options, such as either having drivers go slower or not putting as much sediment in each truck. Margraf said it was a cause for concern that this was the second spill by the company.

“I would say this, this is obviously something we’re going to have to follow up on,” Margraf said.

Novak said, though, that government projects are usually stringent in guidelines for cleanups and that Zerene would have had to follow those guidelines in the clean up, meaning it should have been thorough.

Hoyda said no one was injured in the spill.

Hauler of no help, cleanup crew says :: Lake County :: Post-Tribune.

Categories: Environment
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