Tuesday, April 23, 2024

CFAC numbers dubious

by Richard Hanners
| April 3, 2024 2:00 AM

I find the EPA’s $1 billion-plus estimate for excavating and hauling hazardous waste from the landfills and percolation ponds at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co.’s Superfund site to an out-of-state landfill a little outrageous. That’s about how much money Swiss-owner Glencore made during the short time it owned the plant. And bear in mind, spent potliner from the CFAC plant was routinely hauled to an out-of-state landfill from about 1985 to when the plant finally closed -— and later from the 600 in situ smelting pots when the plant was demolished by Calbag. Maybe someone should call Calbag and ask them how they did it without going broke. I recall Calbag had to follow some strict DEQ-required procedures for handling spent potliner. One has to wonder what hold Glencore has over the EPA. One answer is to stop talking about “truckloads” and start talking about “trainloads.” Another is to stop pussyfooting around with Glencore.

Richard Hanners

John Day, Oregon