Records: Same PCB Contaminating Upstate Reported At Nearby Facil - WSPA.com

Records: Same PCB Contaminating Upstate Reported At Nearby Facility

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An Upstate wastewater treatment plant has found new traces of PCBs on another waste haulter An Upstate wastewater treatment plant has found new traces of PCBs on another waste haulter
Lyman, S.C. - Documents made available by the Environmental Protection Agency show the dangerous chemicals found in Upstate wastewater plants have been found in dozens of nearby locations since 2000.  Some records, reviewed by 7 On Your Side, show facilities within a mile of a contaminated wastewater plant was inspected by the EPA in 2012 and showed traces of exactly the same PCB found in public facilities.

The “PCB Activity Reports” show hundreds of documents each containing new sources of PCBs.  Each comes decades after the federal government banned the chemicals in the 1970s.  An EPA spokesperson said the agency could only respond to written questions on the Upstate reports because of the "extreme sensitivity" of the "ongoing criminal investigation" into illegal PCB dumping in the Upstate.

While production of the PCBs stopped decades ago they are still found in things like power transformers.  Richard Bennett, who owns property that once housed the old Lyman Mill, said those transformers were the source of the contamination on his property.

There are multiple EPA reports of PCBs at that old Lyman Mill site.

The property was “Springs Industries Lyman Printing and Finishing” when PCB activity was reported in 2000.   Bennett owned the property for a similar report at “Lyman Warehouse” in 2012. The mill property is less than a mile from the Lyman Wastewater plant where PCB contamination was discovered last year.

In an email to 7 On Your Side, an EPA representative said "PCB transformers and drums of PCB transformer oil were present on site,"

The type of PCB identified in each of the wastewater treatment facilities was a product of the Monsanto corporation called "Aroclor 1260".  The EPA confirms that "Aroclor 1260 and 1254 are commonly found in PCB transformer oil."

That contamination, plus similar finds in Greenville and Spartanburg will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to clean up.

Bennett said the chemicals were discovered in old power transformers on the mill property.  When demolition began, Bennett said, several barrels of PCBs were collected from the stripped down transformers.

 Bennett said the EPA was properly notified and the barrels are all accounted for.  The EPA agreed.  They were "removed from service and have since been removed from the site".

Bennett also said both state and federal investigators have contacted him “in the last 6 months” about the contamination found in Upstate wastewater facilities.

That contamination was determined to come from illegal dumping into grease traps.

One Upstate waste hauler has been charged with perjury after a police report said an officer witnessed a truck from "American Waste" in Greer dumping into a grease trap.

State investigators said Aroclor 1260 was found on that company's equipment.


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