Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Meeting on Black Sand Beach slag removal coming up Jan. 14

Illustrations courtesy of URS

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) is getting ready to improve a popular beach on the Upper Columbia River by removing industrial black slag that came from the Teck Metals (formerly Teck Cominco) smelter in Trail, B.C.

We need your help. This is a public process and we encourage you to review and comment on formal documents that will guide the removal of the slag on Black Sand Beach.

The documents include a draft work plan and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) documents ensuring that the work is beneficial to the environment. Comments will be accepted Jan. 4 through Feb. 5, 2010 (see contact information below).

A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, at the Northport High School, 408 10th St. in Northport. Ecology and Teck American Inc. (Teck) in Spokane will describe the project and answer questions from the public.

Ecology and Teck signed an agreement last July to remove slag from Black Sand Beach. The beach encompasses about one acre, three miles south of the Canadian border on the east side of the river north of Northport.

In the fall of 2010, approximately 5,000 cubic yards of granulated slag will be removed and transported for recycling to Teck’s Trail smelter facility. Teck has agreed to remove and recycle the slag to prevent the material from eroding further into the river water.

Teck will place clean, natural fill material where contaminated sediments were removed. The industrial slag contains hazardous substances including zinc, lead, copper, arsenic, cadmium and other metals that cannot be removed from normal processing. Some of the metals harm the health of the river and aquatic life.

The public can see the documents for the slag removal at the Department of Ecology’s office in Spokane at 4601 N. Monroe St. by calling Kari Johnson at 509-329-3415, or on-line. They also are available at the Northport Community Library, the Kettle Falls Public Library and the Colville Public Library.
For more information, see the news release.

Comments and technical questions should go to Chuck Gruenenfelder, 509-329-3439; e-mail: chgr461@ecy.wa.gov .

Please note: per Ecology's blog policy, comments posted on ECOconnect are not considered official public comment on this issue. Use the contact information above to submit official public comment. Thank you.

No comments: