UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Local conservation officials question Exide dredging plans

Friday, January 18, 2013

Local conservation officials question Exide dredging plans

Exide Group Inc. now estimates it will have to dredge 27,600 cubic yards of lead-contaminated sediment from Mill River -- an increase of 29 percent over an earlier estimate -- and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has extended public comment on Exide's proposed cleanup plan to Feb. 28. But the town Conservation Commission on Thursday night mostly focused on another part of the cleanup plan -- Exide's proposal to discharge sediment-cleansed water back into Mill River during the dredging operation -- because the deadline for public comment on that application is Feb. 7. Thomas Steinke, director of the Conservation Department, discussed a five-page report that he wrote in response to Exide's application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, and the commission voted to approve sending Steinke's report to Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the DEEP. "You have our go-ahead on this, Tom, to get this letter off and you can sign it on behalf of the commission," Kevin Gumpper, chairman of the Conservation Commission, said toward the end of the 90-minute meeting in Sullivan-Independence Hall.
Exide manufactured automobile batteries at its 2190 Post Road factory from 1951 to 1981, polluting the adjacent Mill River with lead. In 2006, Exide demolished its factory and removed lead-contaminated soil from its 6.25-acre property. It's now proposing to dredge lead-contaminated sediment along 4,000 linear feet of Mill River in response to an order from the DEEP.

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