Refiner Idles Tanks Over PCBs

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho (CN) – A recycler had to shut down tanks and trunks for 3 years because a salvage company didn’t tell it its waste was contaminated with PCBs, the recycler claims in court.
     Oil Re-Refining Company sued Sutton Salvage, Mitchell’s Mobile Mashing and Mitchell Sutton, in Federal Court.
     The Portland, Ore.-based plaintiff, ORRCO, collects and transports used oil and other stuff at four facilities in the Pacific Northwest. In April this year the U.S. EPA threatened it with penalties after learning its Spokane and Portland facilities were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.
     PCBs are linked to cancer in animals and, presumably, in humans, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
     ORRCO claims it discovered the PCB contamination 3 years ago and immediately reported it to the U.S. EPA and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. It locked down the tanks containing the contaminated loads and quit using the trucks used to haul them.
     It says it traced the PCBs to a used was oil, gas and water from Sutton Salvage/Mitchell’s Mobile Mashing, in Lewiston, Idaho.
     The loads were taken to Spokane between Jan. 26, 2006 and May 19, 2010, according to the complaint.
     “Subsequent analytical testing by ORRCO established extensive PCB contamination at ORRCO’s Portland facility and ORRCO’s Spokane facility including equipment, tanks and trucks at both locations,” the complaint states.
     ORRCO claims it suffered considerable economic damages from the lockdowns, including the costs of separating huge amounts of contaminated used oil, and “substantial sampling, testing, remediation and storage costs,” aside from the idled trucks and tanks.
     It will cost more to incinerate the stuff at a licensed facility. As of April 13, ORRCO’s Portland facility was on the hook for about 150,000 gallons of contaminated oil that needs to be incinerated, according to The Oregonian newspaper.
     ORRCO seeks more than $280,000 in damages.
     It is represented by Lyndsey Belliston, of Wilsonville, Ore.

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