Removal of 115,000 tons of polluted dirt from Velsicol site to begin Monday

Excavating equipment and workers will begin digging tons of polluted soil from the Velsicol site Monday, April 17.

EPA Remedial Project Manager Tom Alcamo told members of the Pine River Superfund Task Force that more soil than previously predicted will be excavated, increasing the removed amount to about 115,000 tons. The excavation will extend 30 feet into the ground, much of it below the water table.

Alcamo said they expect to pump, collect and dispose of  22,000 gallons of water per day, which will fill two large tanker trucks. Both water and soil will be hauled off site for disposal.

Alcamo said 10 trucks per day will haul waste, and five trucks per day will bring in clean fill dirt.

Most of the dirt to be removed is in the large purple area on this map.

The dirt replacement project is expected to be completed in December. However, no work is planned for Saturdays and Sundays.

During the that time, three air monitoring stations will collect information, and dust control will be

handled with commercial misting systems. Odors may be a problem, and Alcamo said they will remain flexible, and apply whatever odor control systems seem to work best. 

Some on the market work similarly to a hydro seeder, and create a firm surface that traps the odors.

Alcamo said the excavated soil will be hauled with dump trucks from the hole to a staging area. Wet soil will be drained and then loaded onto gravel-train trucks and hauled to disposal sites. Non-hazardous soil will go to the Brent Run disposal site in Montrose, and hazardous waste (both soil and water) will go to the U.S. Ecology disposal site in Detroit. Clean sand, stone and fill dirt will arrive from Bill’s Custom Backhoe in Elwell, and Hubscher’s in Mt. Pleasant.

Thanks to the Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force for the press release this story is based on.

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