Hazardous materials stored in idle Springfield plants

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(Host) The state has gone to court to force the removal of thousands of gallons of hazardous materials from two idle machine tool plants in Springfield.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports:

(Zind) The attorney general says 15,000 gallons of coolants and oil, and 20 tons of heat treatment salts are improperly stored at the Bryant Grinder and Fellows Corporation plants in Springfield. The plants closed in February. Assistant Attorney General Mark Sciarrotta says cold weather increases the risk the materials could cause environmental problems:

(Sciarrotta) “There are dozens of containers of hazardous wastes and materials that are being stored at the facility. At this point, we believe that the facility is not heated. Therefore the freezing of the materials may cause them to expand and rupture.”

(Zind) Sciarrotta says some containers are already leaking. He says they don’t present an immediate danger.

The companies are owned by the Goldman Industrial Group, which has declared bankruptcy. The state has filed suit in Washington Superior Court to force Goldman to take steps to secure the hazardous materials stored in the unoccupied buildings.

(Sciarrotta) “The first step is to have the companies identify what the materials are and to winterize the buildings to prevent the materials from freezing. The long-term goal is to have the materials properly labeled and eventually properly disposed of.”

(Zind) The suit also asks the court to require Goldman to take out liability insurance in case of an environmental spill. Sciarrotta says the lawsuit was filed because Goldman hasn’t returned calls from the Attorney General’s office. The suit also names an Ohio firm, which is leasing the buildings.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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