Air and water treatment begins at REEF
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – Air and water treatments were installed at REEF Friday as response continued to address a large gas bubble and oily leakage at the Twin Street facility.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management installed an air scrubber system to treat and alleviate a bubble of gas that formed under a tarp covering a wastewater basin.

The scrubber system, which will use a liquid solution to manage levels of hydrogen sulfide in the gas, began operating Friday morning. In a press release, ADEM gave no estimate as to when the treatment will be complete, but said the scrubber will continue to operate over the weekend.

In addition, a network of absorbent booms was placed in and around Shirtee Creek to address the unpermitted leakage flowing into the creek from the facility.

“On-scene personnel continue to monitor the area around Shirtee Creek for adverse impacts to fish and other aquatic organisms,” ADEM said.

Ambient air monitoring has also been conducted at seven locations throughout adjacent neighborhoods to “ensure citizens are safe and are not being adversely impacted by the on-site response activities,” ADEM said. “Data from the ambient air monitoring in the neighborhoods has not identified any elevated concentrations that present a health hazard.”

ADEM announced Wednesday that it had requested federal resources to resolve the ongoing issues at REEF, which operated as an industrial waste treatment plant from 2007 until late 2010 and served businesses in the Sylacauga area and beyond.

Upon request, ADEM provided The Daily Home with a list of REEF customers from August 2007 through April 2008. Companies that discharged to REEF in this time frame were as follows: Nemak, Allen Oil, GEO Services, Holmes Oil, R&H Waste Oil, Industrial Chemical, B.R. Williams, Buck Oil Services, Mignon Properties, Avondale Mills, EWS, Tessenderio Kerley, US Pipe, Daniel Metal, Action Resources, NSS Technologies, Fleetwood Metals, Enbridge Energy, Shoreline Environmental, Hwashin America, PSC, Glory LLC, Ergon Terminalling, Goodyear Rubber, Wehadkee Yarns, Universal Enviro, JB Hunt and Tubular Products.

ADEM spokesman Scott Hughes said this list “may not be inclusive of all materials that have been received at the REEF facility,” and advised that further records are available in the e-File at www.adem.alabama.gov.

A Unified Command Center with representatives from ADEM, EPA, Talladega County and Alabama Emergency Management Agencies and others remains at the REEF facility throughout the process of resolving the current time-critical issues.

For updates from the EPA, visit www.epaosc.org and locate REEF in the “Recent Updates” tab on the right-hand side of the page.

Contact Emily Adams at eadams@dailyhome.com.

© 2012