US, Delaware settles with 21 parties on the cleanup of Delaware Sand & Gravel Landfill Superfund site
Jun 7, 2022
US, Delaware settles with 21 parties on the cleanup of Delaware Sand & Gravel Landfill Superfund site
EPA and DNREC have been working since 1983 with potentially responsible parties to clean up the site, located on Grantham Lane, about two miles southwest of the city of New Castle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Delaware have reached an agreement with 21 defendants on completing a $41.6 million cleanup plan for the 27-acre Delaware Sand & Gravel Landfill Superfund site in New Castle County, Delaware. Between 1969 and 1976, about 550,000 cubic yards of industrial waste and construction debris, including at least 13,000 drums containing hazardous substances, were disposed of at the industrial waste landfill, formerly a sand and gravel quarry. The EPA and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) confirmed the presence of several hazardous substances in the site’s soil and groundwater. In 1981, the EPA added the site to the “National Priorities List” of the most contaminated sites nationwide. “EPA’s Superfund program focuses on making a visible and lasting difference in communities by ensuring that public health and the environment are protected,” says Adam Ortiz, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “This settlement with the responsible parties ensures that ongoing work will continue at this Delaware site that was abused for years with the disposal of hazardous waste.”
EPA and DNREC have been working since 1983 with potentially responsible parties to clean up the site, located on Grantham Lane, about two miles southwest of the city of New Castle. The 21 settling defendants are:
The Chemours Company FC LLC;
Hercules LLC (individually and on behalf of its former subsidiary, Champlain Cable Corporation);
Waste Management of Delaware Inc.;
SC Holdings Inc.;
Honeywell International Inc.;
New Castle County;
Verizon Delaware LLC. The agreement, a consent decree subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval was reached under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. This requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for contaminating a Superfund site to clean up the sit or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities. According to the EPA several cleanup measures have been implemented at the site, including the installation of an underground slurry wall around the drum disposal area, excavation and off-site disposal of drums and contaminated soil. There has also been construction and operation of a bio-venting system that supplied oxygen to live microbes in the soil from 1997 to 2009, enabling them to break down hazardous substances. A multilayer landfill caps were installed at two waste disposal areas of the site: the inert area and the Grantham South Area. There has also been an extraction of contaminated groundwater from the Upper Potomac Aquifer with onsite treatment and discharge to surface water or discharge to the local wastewater treatment plant. Hourly construction wages hit 40-year high amid rising demand for workers
The industry added 36,000 employees in May, but AGC says contractors are looking to hire even more workers. Rapidly rising hourly earnings have enabled the construction industry to add 36,000 employees in May, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). While these recent statistics show promise, the association says a record number of job openings going into the month suggest contractors want to hire even more workers—a sentiment that has continued to plague the industry throughout the ongoing labor shortage. “It is encouraging that contractors were able to add workers in May, but they will need many more to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure and private nonresidential projects,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC. “Despite steeply rising pay for hourly workers, job openings in construction hit an all-time high at the end of April, while the industry’s low unemployment rate suggests experienced workers are scarce.”
Average earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees—mainly hourly craft workers in construction—rose by 6.3 percent from May 2021 to last month, the most since December 1982, Simonson notes. Average earnings in the overall private sector, however, rose slightly faster, by 6.5 percent, making it hard for contractors to attract enough applicants to fill all openings. There were 494,000 construction-industry job openings at the end of April, a jump of 141,000 or 40 percent from April 2021. That was the largest total for any month since that series began in 2000, Simonson adds, citing government data released June 1. The unemployment rate among jobseekers with construction experience tumbled from 6.7 percent in May 2021 to 3.8 percent last month, while the number of unemployed construction workers fell by 250,000 or 39 percent to 392,000, suggesting there are few experienced jobseekers left to hire. Total construction employment moved up by 36,000 employees to 7,664,000 in May, with gains in each part of the industry. Employment in residential construction rose by 16,700 workers, including 5,000 employed by homebuilders and multifamily general contractors and 11,700 at residential specialty trade contractors. Nonresidential firms added 19,400 employees, including 2,400 at general building contractors, 5,700 at nonresidential specialty trade contractors, and 11,300 at heavy and civil engineering construction firms. Association officials cautioned that the lack of available workers is undermining construction activity, urging public officials at all levels to put in place more training programs to expose high school students and adults to career opportunities in construction. They also called on Congress and the Biden administration to allow more workers with construction skills to legally enter the country. “There is no shortage of available, good-paying career opportunities in the construction industry,” says AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “Public officials should be exposing people to construction career opportunities that pay well and don’t require a college degree and the debt that all too often comes with it.”
Steelmakers in the United States produced 0.9 percent less steel in the week ending June 4 compared with the prior week, according to the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In addition to the week-to-week decline, the weekly output of 1.78 million tons represented a 3.2 percent drop from the 1.84 million tons produced a year ago in the week ending June 4, 2021. Year-to-date figures compiled by AISI show production through June 4 stands at 38,874,000 tons. That is down 1.6 percent from the 39,517,000 tons made during the same period last year. Thus far in 2022, mills have been operating at an average capability utilization (capacity) rate of 80.6 percent. Despite the lower output figure, that is up from the 78.8 percent capacity rate averaged in the first five months and four days of 2021. AISI has not published steel import figures for this May, but it has reported a trend of increased steel imports so far this year and over the course of the previous 12 months. In the first four months of this year, total and finished steel imports are up 21 percent and 45 percent, respectively, compared with the first four months of 2021, says the association. In the 12-month period from May 2021 to April 2022, total and finished steel imports are up 51.3 percent and 55.3 percent, respectively, versus the prior 12-month period, says AISI. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 27 percent this April and is estimated at 25 percent during the first four months of 2022. Theodore “Tadj” Ondrick Jr., a recycling pioneer and early Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) supporter, has died at 80 years old. Known as a “true visionary,” Ondrick Jr. had a strong work ethic fueled by weekends and summers spent working at his father’s business. The company, known as Ted Ondrick Co., provided construction services to the local community. After purchasing the family business from his father, Ondrick Jr. quickly expanded services to offer construction materials from the company’s sand and gravel pits, as well as its granite quarry. In 1973, Ondrick Jr. started the first drum mix asphalt plant in Massachusetts. As the recycling concept developed, Ted Ondrick Co. became a resource to implement regional recycling by using recycled asphalt pavement. With these efforts, Ondrick Jr. went on to become an original board member of the CDRA and was an early inductee into the C&D Hall of Fame, receiving the honor in 2014. Ondrick Jr. sold the business in 2014 to his oldest sons, Todd and Adam, who continue to operate the business (now under the name Ondrick Materials and Recycling ). Together, the two brothers have further expanded operations to Ondrick Natural Earth, supplying hardscape supplies to the community. “During the early days of the CDRA, there was no stronger supporter of the organization’s mission,” states the association. “The tradition of recycling lives on at Ondrick Material and Recycling through his two sons, Adam and Todd. The CDRA extends its condolences to the entire Ondrick family.”
Choosing the right software can be a complex and costly task. Operators can’t recoup time and costs associated with onboarding a new system or getting stuck in a long contract for a system that doesn’t meet expectations. Even a small hiccup in streamlining operations can set businesses behind competitors. Here are eight questions to ask before moving forward with a software supplier to increase profitability. Starlight Software Solutions
1. What do I need to accomplish with a software solution? The first step in choosing a software system for an operation is to define its goals. For example:
improving efficiency to better manage dispatch, inventory and time;
key metrics for success across business lines; and
improve productivity per driver, per customer, route and business unit. Once growth goals are defined, a business can better assess whether it’s time for a system upgrade. 2. Do I have quick access to critical business data so I can see in real time where I can reduce waste and improve productivity? If real-time access to business data tracking profitability, growth, units, drivers and customers, is not currently available, companies are missing out on revenue and increased profitability. It’s important to ask software suppliers if they provide access to dynamic versus static data and the instrumentation to make live adjustments to driver routes, pricing, billing, inventory management and other daily activities that affect productivity and profitability.
3. Does my software allow me to dynamically analyze profitability per unit from every conceivable angle? To identify where there are losses or gains in profitability, a system needs to show expense information. This includes truck and driver operating costs, fuel, disposal, insurance, maintenance, taxes and fees, overhead and debt service. If a system allows customization of expense inputs for data analysis, businesses can instantly compute profitability by truck, route, driver, hour, job and customer. The ability to adjust these variables simply and accurately, which can improve profitability, is a guiding principle upon which Starlight Software Solutions is built. 4. Can I access all my data directly and run my own reports? A leading complaint among users of waste management software is the long wait for reports from suppliers. While some businesses wait days, or weeks to see where efficiency can be improved, competiting companies with access to its data in real time are speeding ahead. Operators should ask every software supplier being considered about the ability to access the data it needs. They also should ask about running reports on their own versus paying software companies to run reports. Other questions to ask include:
Can you execute reports in a day or several hours yourself? What data can you expect to see and analyze? Can you integrate reports with your current enterprise management system to create a comprehensive business intelligence dashboard you can access anytime, anywhere? Starlight Software Solutions
Starlight’s solution integrates the Exago reporting engine which allows users to drag and drop data from various sources into the reports they need, when they need them. Included is an example of our reporting system. 5. Can I see my inventory live and execute new dispatch directions instantly? It happens every day. A customer needs a pickup earlier than planned and another customer needs a roll-off as soon as possible. If businesses can’t instantly transmit route and order changes to drivers, opportunities for serving customers and capturing new revenue are often lost. If you can’t monitor your assets, trucks, drivers and containers in real time and manage operations across the entire fleet in one view, its difficult to find and correct inefficiencies quickly. The only way to maximize efficiencies is to have 100 percent visibility of all assets and complete, real-time control.
6. How should my software help me scale growth? Without the cloud as a platform for operations and profitability data, businesses will be stuck while competitors cruise by them. Starlight Software Solutions
Be sure any system being considered is easy to use across computers, tablets and smart phones. Suppliers being evaluated should offer a flexible integration framework and be committed to an open architecture approach so operators can integrate current applications and needed peripheral systems to support ongoing growth. Some suppliers require businesses to use just their peripherals, which can be far too limiting. While many software programs designed for the waste management industry started on legacy platforms, most have transitioned to the cloud or will soon. Businesses should ask their current suppliers about plans to transition to a cloud-based environment, and how this move will impact operations. Below is an example of device responsiveness for Starlight’s solution. 7. What technology will help me scale quickly and efficiently? There are three distinct technological advantages that drive scalability that should be discussed with potential software suppliers. 1. services microservices architecture
A modern, dynamic ERP system is built using best-in-industry microservices architecture which automatically scales with growth. Amazon Web Services, Starlight’s hosting platform is an example of a scalable infrastructure which provides endless opportunities. 2. Real-time design and real network intelligent endpoints
The software solution is the hub of the wheel that motors a company forward. A properly deployed cloud-based software system has intelligent endpoints, or spokes, that gather data and process it into actionable insights that can be used to assess and improve efficiency and best manage a company’s overall entire operation. Forward-thinking software solutions will offer real-time and network intelligent endpoints that also include customers in a business’s ecosystem. Customized apps that let customers engage a company for changes, pricing updates and new orders in real time are one example. Having live insight into locations and the status of assets will help manage jobs and inventory better to address demand immediately. 3. Open systems architecture
Businesses should also ask about third-party integration for the hardware and software used daily for in-cab systems, scale systems, accounting and other business functions. It’s importantsoftware suppliers support third-party endpoints in a network and integrate and support their own. This lets businesses be the driver, capitalizing on the investments you have and will make.
Starlight Software Solutions
When considering new software suppliers, additional factors are key to keep in mind include:
Startup and conversion: It is key to ask suppliers about their processes for onboarding, conversion from existing systems and long-term support. During a vetting process, it is also important to ask their customers about their experiences and how quickly they resolve issues and training quality. Partnership value and user-influence: It is important to know the partnership value provided beyond the products delivered. Do they involve customers in developing new features, functionality and processes to build a product users want vs. one they can easily profit from? Do they charge for extra training or trouble shooting? Do they provide insights and resources that will help you grow your business? Finally, do their contract terms favor the business or them? Long-term contracts without termination clauses should be avoided. Getting stuck in a contract with a supplier that does not deliver on promises or update its system to keep up with industry changes can be costly. A software decision is one a business will need to be happy with for a long time. Choosing a partner versus a supplier is critical to the outcomes you will achieve. Starlight Software Solutions
Starlight Software Solutions, Denver, was founded by Bill Bradley, a roll-off container entrepreneur, who created his own system when nothing existed specific to his needs. Relying on his years as a software executive and a diverse user advisory council, he built Starlight Software Solutions with one goal in mind: drive efficiency, profitability and scale. The goal of the entire Starlight team is to help customers gain maximum productivity from every asset. For waste management companies, that means removing old processes that drain time and bog down inventory management, order taking, reporting, billing, invoicing and other activities that build profitability and return on investment. Waste companies using Starlight’s solution to manage inventory and assets in real time have increased revenue by about 30 percent within months. In addition, they have achieved higher customer satisfaction which enables them to achieve long-term loyalty and more recurring revenue streams.