An insurance client notified Antea Group that there was a release of hydrochloric acid at a chemical manufacturing facility. Antea Group initially responded on behalf of the insurance carrier as third party oversight, but quickly transitioned to working for the facility to direct cleanup and waste disposal. The spill consisted of a release of more than 100,000 gallons of a 35% solution of hydrochloric acid. The initial response contained the spill to the facility and rinsed the acid into the stormwater detention basin, resulting in 3,000,000 gallons of stormwater/acid mixture with a pH of 1.94, which made the entire pond a corrosive waste (D0002) under RCRA. Complicating waste management efforts, the spill occurred in winter.
Antea Group coordinated and directed the cleanup of facility areas impacted by the acid (storm drains, paved drives, and soil). Approximately 2,300 cubic yards of acid-impacted surficial soils were excavated and disposed of at a local landfill under a special waste permit. An all-polyethylene pond aeration system was installed in the detention basin to prevent the pond from freezing in sub-zero temperatures.
Antea Group also designed a batch treatment process to neutralize the low pH and to filter suspended chlorides from the water. This process took place prior to transporting the water via tanker truck to a wastewater treatment plant for disposal. A total of 579 tanker truckloads of water (3,048,105 gallons) were pretreated and disposed of. Once the water was removed from the detention basin, sediment and shallow soils were evaluated for acid impact prior to commencing repairs, returning the detention basin to service.
The development of on-site batch pretreatment allowed for local disposal of the non-hazardous waste, saving Antea Group’s client approximately $1,800,000 in disposal costs. The client was able to resume operations once repairs and upgrades to the facility were completed and the detention basin was returned to service. The state regulatory agency provided a reliance letter indicating that the incident was resolved and that no further actions were required.