By ELISE GIORDANO
After receiving a notice of violation from the Department of Environmental Conservation last month, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and Mineral Services are working toward fixing the problem.
Dave Hunz, owner of Mineral Services, said the company turned in its corrective action plan to the department on April 29 and is awaiting their approval.
Hunz said they are trying to go through records from 1989 and 1990, when the infrastructure for the terminal was created.
The complaint stemmed from three unpermitted water sources being emptied into a storm water infiltration gallery at the Ore Terminal, including a hose transporting potable water and gray water, and equipment wash water emptied in by unseen pipes.
“They approved it then. I don’t understand why it’s not approved now,” Hunz said, a question they hope to understand as they sift through the records.
DEC Environmental Program Specialist Shilo Williams said they are making good progress thus far.
She said along with the data search, they will perform samples on five onsite groundwater monitoring wells and will evaluate the storm water and gray water based on those samples.
“Tying all of that in, they will apply for the appropriate permits that are needed,” Williams said.
While they are still in the fact-finding phase, the project is expected to be completed by August 15.
AIDEA’s Director of Project Development and Asset Management Jim Hemsath said generally speaking, everything is fine and has been fine.
“There hasn’t been any gross dereliction of duty,” he said. “We’re not concerned that the terminal is not being operated appropriately, but there is room for improvement.”
Hemsath said through all of the communication being had, everyone is trying to get “their arms around it” and have everyone speaking the same language.
“We’re interested in making things right for the community. Everyone is trying to do their best,” he said.