New York Recycling Fire: "PCB Tally Isn't Known"

"GHENT -- The head of a Columbia County chemical recycling company whose plant was destroyed in an inferno last week knows hundreds of gallons of toxic hazardous PCBs were at the site before the fire, but won't know how much burned until the tangled wreckage can be examined."

"Brian Hemlock, TCI Inc. president, said Thursday that shipping records pieced together after Wednesday's fire at the Falls Park Industrial Road plant show the facility held two classes of PCBs. Some containers were 50 parts per million or greater, which is hazardous waste under federal law, and other containers held less than 50 ppm, which is not considered hazardous waste.

In the hazardous category, there were three electrical transformers and six ceramic bushings -- a transformer component -- containing a total of 875 gallons of PCB-laden oil, some with levels as high as 1,600 ppm, according to a report from TCI consulting engineers Crawford & Associates Engineering, based in Hudson.

That is roughly equivalent to about fifteen 55-gallon industrial drums. PCB transformers can contain levels up to 700,000 ppm, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Brian Nearing reports for the Albany Times Union August 9, 2012.
 

Source: Albany Times Union, 08/10/2012