DEM announces plan for closure of TLA/Pond View plant in East Providence
PROVIDENCE – There's no mistaking this latest news about the controversial TLA/Pond View recycling plant on Dexter Road in the Rumford section of East Providence. Its days as an active facility, for the time being at the very least, are now officially numbered.
Late Thursday, May 9, 2013, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management executed agreements with Bond Safeguard Insurance Company and the property owner of One Dexter Road that will move forward closure and cleanup of the site of the former Trans-Load America (TLA)/ Pond View recycling facility.
The closure shall 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.
"We deserve this good news and it will hopefully lead to an appropriate and final resolution of this matter," said James Briden, East Providence City Council President and long-time supporter of community action in opposition to Pond View.
With the pacts in place, the agreements begin a timeline of events that will eventually result in the removal of construction and demolition debris at the site over the course of 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. As part of litigation that has been ongoing in R.I. Superior Court since that time, DEM has been negotiating with the Receiver and bonding company regarding 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, this process has taken longer than anticipated, but DEM believes a satisfactory closure will result.
“It’s been a long process, and we all want to see the site closure completed successfully. DEM will brief local officials and provide information to the public throughout the closure process,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.
As a condition of its 2011 operating license, DEM required TLA-Providence, LLC to post an $800,000 bond as financial assurance for the closure of the site. The license also required the property owner, Kenlin Properties, LLC, and Kenneth J. 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, Mr. Foley 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.
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 R.I. 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, the Department has 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 on DEM’s website 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. Interested parties are encouraged to periodically check the DEM TLA/Pond View Closure webpage for additional information.