DEM makes plans to close TLA/Pond View recycling facility

DEM makes plans to close TLA/Pond View recycling facility

EAST PROVIDENCE – On Thursday, May 9, officials from the Department of Environmental Management executed agreements with Bond Safeguard Insurance Company and the property owner of One Dexter Road in East Providence that will move forward the closure and cleanup of the site of the former Trans-Load America (TLA)/ Pond View recycling facility.

Now that the agreements are in place, construction and demolition debris at the site will be removed over the next several months.

TLA-Providence LLC was the operator of the former TLA/Pond View construction and demolition debris processing facility that was put into receivership in March 2012. The facility ceased operations on Sept. 10, 2012. The shutting down of the facility came about in large part due to the efforts of neighborhood residents, who complained for many years about pollutant dust from the TLA falling on their homes.

As part of litigation that has been ongoing in Rhode Island Superior Court since that time, DEM has been negotiating with the receiver and bonding company about the scope and timetable for completing the removal of the construction and demolition debris remaining at the facility. Due to the complexity of the court proceedings and the multiple parties involved in negotiations over the closure, the process has taken longer than anticipated, according to a news release, but DEM officials believe a satisfactory closure will result.

“It’s been a long process, and we all want to see the site closure completed successfully," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "DEM will brief local officials and provide information to the public throughout the closure process."

As a condition of its 2011 operating license, DEM required TLA-Providence to post an $800,000 bond as financial assurance for the closure of the site. The license also required the property owner, Kenlin Properties and Kenneth Foley, to guaranty the proper closure of the site. During negotiations with the bond company, the property owner made a demand as guarantor to fulfill its obligation to perform the closure work in its entirety for the fixed sum of $610,000, and further agreed to post an additional $190,000 in financial assurance.

Under the terms of a performance agreement between DEM and the property owner, the property owner is responsible, regardless of cost, for performing the closure work at the site in accordance with the closure plan and all license requirements, laws, rules and regulations. The closure must begin within 14 days of the Agreement and the delivery of bond funds to DEM, and must be completed within 60 business days. Hours of operation for closure work are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. During this time, residents may notice increased traffic and experience odors. The property owner’s intention is to remove most of the material via rail.

DEM will monitor performance to ensure that the property owner is performing the work satisfactorily and in accordance with all applicable requirements. In addition to DEM inspectors, the Department will engage an independent oversight contractor who will be on site every day during the closure. This independent contractor will be paid from the bond funds to oversee the closure, perform air monitoring and report daily to DEM. Air monitoring data will be provided to the RI Department of Health for review. As well, weekly construction meetings will be held at the site throughout the duration of the cleanup. These meetings will include a representative of DEM and the property owner. DEM will oversee the closure, including the disbursement of the bond funds dedicated to finance the closure. Money from the bond will only be used for activities directly addressed in the closure plan.

In order to monitor conditions at the site and the progress of the closure, DEM officials have been conducting regular inspections and actively participating in the legal proceedings related to the Receivership, with a goal of seeing that the required closure take place as efficiently as possible. DEM inspectors have examined and measured the piles on many occasions and have seen no evidence of any wastes other than the construction and demolition debris that TLA/Pond View was licensed to handle when it was an active facility. There is no evidence of any toxic or hazardous wastes on the site. The inspectors have also been specifically looking for any evidence that additional disposal had occurred at the site and have seen no evidence of this. What remains are the piles left when the facility ceased business operation.

Information and updates on the closure of the former TLA/Pond View facility are posted at www.dem.ri.gov. Inquiries about the closure of the TLA/Pond View facility can be made by emailing DEM at TLAPondViewClosure@dem.ri.gov.