Less than a drop of Polychlorinated Biphneyls might not sound like a lot, but is enough to cost the county coffer thousands of dollars to rectify some contamination in used oil barrel at the transfer station at Effingham.
Commissioners recently approved a purchase orders in amount not to exceed $16,520 to clean up and decontaminate the barrel site at Transfer Station No. 2 after Solid Waste Manager Staci Waggle was notified June 12 that 16.6 parts per million of PCB, a known carcinogen was detected inside a used oil barrel after a recent routine testing.
Waggle said she has the understanding the PCB is a chemical fluid was commonly associated with hydraulics and electrical equipment like transformers and capacitors.
“It was not very much,” Waggle said of the amount. Waggle conveyed her belief that older equipment lying around in sheds and garages are often become the culprits when these places are cleaned up and persons empty the fluids and combine it with old oil and bring to the landfill to safely dispose of it. “It just happens,” Waggle said.
The $2,893 bill from Clean Harbors pays for the initial oil cleanup. Safety-Kleen is the second company that will perform the final step of the process estimated to cost $5,584 to $6,712 for the drumming of PCB oil and cleanout of the tank. The total cost in expected not to exceed $9,605.
In the meantime, used oil will not be accepted at either the Atchison County transfer station sites until further notice, Waggle said. Solid Waste Landfill/Transfer Station Site No. 1 is located west of Atchison at 8976 Neosho Road.
This is the second time in the county-run transfer stations’ history that a used oil disposal has cost the county coffer. The first incident cost more than $16,519. Waggle said it was in November of 2016 and it occurred at the Atchison site. At the time the county utilized 1,000-gallon capacity barrels, but since switched to 500-gallon barrels in effort to cut the costs in the event there would be another contamination incident.
Commissioners and Waggle agreed they expect the matter will be a topic of discussion on the agenda among members at the next Atchison County Solid Waste Committee meeting.