Tuesday, April 27, 1999

Fernald waste heads to Utah

First rail cars on their way

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CROSBY TOWNSHIP — Beginning a journey that took years to prepare, 40 to 60 specially designed rail cars left Fernald on Monday to deposit the first of more than a half-million tons of waste into a Utah dumping ground.

        Officials say the initial shipment of dried contaminated soil, ash and other materials is expected to arrive at Envirocare, a commercial disposal facility in Clive, Utah, within seven to nine days.

        “We just hope it goes to Utah with no incidents,” said Lisa Crawford, president of Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety and Health (FRESH), a grass-roots group that has had a say on the cleanup of the former uranium processing site. “This all has happened through a very long and tedious process.”

        Monday's shipment was to travel a winding path through the Tristate, heading northwest from the Fernald site to Cottage Grove, Ind., where it was to switch onto a CSX Transportation main line heading back into Ohio — through Oxford, Hamilton, Fairfield, Springdale, Glendale, Evendale, Wyoming, St. Bernard and Cincinnati — before again turning west into Indiana and on to Utah.

        “Safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Fluor Daniel Fernald spokeswoman Kathy Graham. “This is good news and a sig nificant accomplishment.”

        She said the shipment makes good on a “balanced approach” disposal plan that Fernald has worked out with stakeholders to dispose of smaller volumes of higher contaminated material off-site, while disposing of larger volumes of lower contaminated material in a disposal facility being constructed on-site.

        The waste transport was wrapped in plastic liners and shipped in insulated rail cars with sealed fiberglass caps. The trains, owned by the U.S. Department of Energy, will make express, round trips between Fernald and Clive.

        Such shipments are planned every three to four weeks. By 2004 more than 620,000 tons of material may be removed from Fernald.


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