Environmental agency requires cleanup of discharged limestone

The Michigan DEP ordered cleanup of limestone spilled into the Detroit River. Photo by Kahari King for Unsplash.

The Michigan Department of Environment sent a violation notice to Erickson’s Inc. ordering it to clean up limestone and other materials that its tenant spilled into the Detroit River in late November.

According to Local News 4, the dock at the site collapsed on Nov. 26, discharging an unknown amount of crushed limestone into the river, along with asphalt and contaminated soils.

Testing showed contaminant levels in the water were not detectable or well below quality standards, but the company was required to provide a restoration plant and schedule for removing the material from the river. It is also required to “consider action to prevent the exposed shoreline from further erosion,” the news outlet reported.

National Lime and Stone receives state funds for rail-truck distribution yard

National Lime and Stone will receive nearly $250,000 for a distribution facility as part of Pennsylvania’s investment in rail freight improvement projects.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of 26 rail freight improvement projects that he says will create or sustain more than 390 jobs across Pennsylvania.

Among the approved projects is National Lime and Stone’s plan to construct 1,600 feet of track for a rail-truck distribution facility. The state will contribute just under $250,000 to the project.

“Investing in our extensive rail freight system increases mobility options and improves the efficiency of freight travel,” said Wolf, in a GANT News report. “These investments underscore our continued commitment to building a world-class infrastructure system that supports the business community and the creation of new jobs.”

According to the news outlet, Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads – more than any other state in the country.

WOTUS heads to the White House for Review

The 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule will no longer be in effect, barring a legal stay, on Dec. 23, 2019. Photo by John Salzarulo for Unsplash.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final rule to replace the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule moves toward becoming a final rule. According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), the rule is now at the White House to undergo interagency review. 

A replacement rule is expected by January 2020, with the 2015 rule being withdrawn in late December.

“NSSGA looks forward to a final WOTUS rule that provides clean water for everyone and legal clarity for NSSGA members,” said Emily Coyner, NSSGA senior environmental policy director, in a press release.

The association advocated “that ephemeral and isolated waters, pits and water treatment systems (including settling ponds) should never be federally regulated waters.” The proposed 2018 WOTUS rule reflected this input.