Stephanie Ostrowski Nov. 20, 2012, 5:04am
RAVENSWOOD – Three companies in Ravenswood have signed a consent order with the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent releases of cyanide into soil and groundwater at their 2.7-acre site.
TRC Companies, TRC Environmental Corp. and Ravenswood Holdings Company will now outline work to be done on the land where a former aluminum manufacturing facility deposited contaminated waste.
Closed off by a chain-link fence, the TRC Spent Cathode Storage Pile is within an active industrial facility at 2/20 Country Road in Ravenswood. The spent potliner pile consists of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of waste material and is surrounded by two other parcels.
This pile accumulated between 1972 and 1980 and contains aluminum smelting waste awaiting shipment for mineral recycling. Recycling of mineral waste subsided in the late 1970s, proving the need to cover the pile, which was later done in 1981 with polymeric liner to prevent contact with storm water, the EPA said.
Without the polymeric liner, cyanide compounds in the waste pile could leach into the ground water.
The EPA determined in November 2011 that the waste material should remain in place and that repair and maintenance of the existing rubber liner should continue until the liner is replaced.
The agreement between the EPA and TRC requires TRC to perform maintenance and fulfill required controls to prevent further contamination. TRC has agreed to prevent the escape of cyanide from the site.