Sunday, December 20, 2009





  EPA: Hazardous waste site cleaned up
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

MALAKOFF–A representative with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Malakoff City Council members the cleanup of the hazardous waste site on West Mitchum Street should be complete by early next week.
The report came during the council’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
EPA On-Scene Coordinator Mike McAteer told the council, “We’re just about ready to finish up. We’ll probably have all the contaminated soil out by Saturday and by next Tuesday be all done.”
McAteer also praised the city staff, including Director of Public Works Tim Whitley, for their cooperation in cleaning up the site.
The site, at 312 West Mitchum St., is the former location of Triple B Bumper Manufacturing, a metal plating business. A preliminary report by the EPA in 2008 showed the building contained as many as 60 55-gallon drums many containing unknown chemicals, and open vats containing chemicals. According to the federal report, labels on the drums indicate they originally contained chemicals used in the metal plating process, including “nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nickel chloride, chromium plating reagent and calcium hypochloride.”
Tuesday, McAteer told the council that approximately 38,000 gallons of hazardous liquids and approximately 48,000 pounds of solid hazardous materials and debris were taken away from the site. In addition, 28 truckloads of non-hazardous waste material were also taken out.
“The vats in there were in bad shape and everything went right through the bottom and into the soil,” he said.
McAteer said that more than 550 samples were taken from the soil and the concrete floor of the building, and “quite a few came up hot.”
McAteer said that what was mainly found were chromium and nickel, both known carcinogens.
The site first came to the attention of general public in April after Malakoff Fire Marshal Garris Strange declared the building to be “immediately dangerous to life and health.”
Strange’s action spurred the EPA to come look at the site, but not for the first time.
According to reports obtained by The Malakoff News, the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) conducted an inspection of the building on March 18, 2008. The reports state, “The exterior of the facility building showed signs of heavy deterioration with open drainage pathways allowing for offsite migration of contaminants. Stained soils were visible around the perimeter of the building. During the course of the investigation, EPA observed vehicle and pedestrian traffic including small children in the shopping center and roads adjacent to the facility.”
The reports go on to say, “The interior of the building shows further signs of deterioration and poor housekeeping. The building houses 15 open top vats utilized in the metal plating process. These vats contain various liquid and/or solid materials of unknown composition and are all showing extensive signs of corrosion.”
The report was filed by EPA On-Scene Coordinator Eric Delgado. In April, Delgado said the conditions at the site did not reach the level of “an emergency response.”
A possible cleanup was also delayed by confusion over ownership of the building; a problem that was later cleared up.

Man charged in Tool fatality
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Police have charged Jackie Ray Keith, 33, with manslaughter in connection to a hit-and-run that resulted in a Tool man’s death Nov. 30.
An evidence tampering charge was also added. Keith’s bonds total $500,000.
District Attorney investigator Balde Quintanilla has been assisting the Tool Police Department in working the case.
A 2000 model champagne-colored Chevy pickup that matched a witness’ description was located last week.
As the truck was processed for evidence, authorities found they could link the pickup to evidence found near the spot where Hubert Oxendine Jr., 52, was struck while walking on State Highway 274 just south of Towering Oaks subdivision.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock ordered an autopsy.
A partial fingerprint was found matching that of Keith when run through the Department of Public Safety’s database.
The manslaughter charge is a third-degree felony, as is tampering with evidence.
The Texas Transportation Code directs drivers involved in an accident that causes a death or injury to “immediately stop the vehicle at the scene, or close to it as possible.”

Sounds of Christmas

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
The Mabank High School Choir perform a very moving rendition of “Mary Did You Know?” during its Evening in December concert Dec. 11 at the MHS auditorium. The evening included the singing of many favorites and a special performance by the Avanti Singers, ending with the audience invited to join in singing a number of Christmas carols.

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