Kanasco Seeks Ok To Dump Waste

September 26, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

A Brooklyn Park pharmaceutical firm that spilled toxic chemicals into county sewers last summer is seeking permission to dump industrial waste regularly into the public system.

A county Department of Utilities spokeswoman said Kanasco Ltd., a penicillin manufacturer on Robinwood Road, faces "substantial" fines for improperly releasing methylene chloride, acetone and isopropyl alcohol into the county sewer June 23 through an employee toilet.

Discharging industrial and commercial waste water into the systemrequires a special license or pre-treatment agreement with the Utilities Department, said spokeswoman Jody Vollmar. Kanasco, she said, does not have a pre-treatment agreement.

The county offered to negotiate an agreement in 1988, Vollmar said, when the company spilled methylene chloride, an industrial solvent, into the system, sending 10 Ferndale families to the hospital and forcing 17 others to evacuate their homes as toxic fumes backed up through their plumbing. But Kanasco officials declined at that time.

Last month, an attorney representing Kanasco said the company wanted to reopen negotiations. Companyofficials had reprimanded the janitor who dumped the hazardous materials into the public drain and have held training sessions to preventfuture mishaps, Charles Delavane said in an Aug. 14 letter.

"Kanasco asked if the county could work out some checks and balances so they could discharge their . . . wastes," Vollmar said.

The county has not responded, Vollmar said. If approved, Kanasco would be connected to the Cox Creek Water Reclamation facility.

Ultimately, the decision "depends on what they discharge, how much they discharge and who else discharges into that system," she said. "You have to look at how it all mixes."

Kanasco officials say they store their industrial wastes in large tanks outside the 11-acre plant before shipping them to a Pennsylvania firm for treatment.

Before receiving permission to connect to the county sewer, a firm must declare what chemicalsit uses, what quantities and the health and environmental risks associated with each.

The county has pre-treatment agreements with only eight "significant" industrial dischargers, Vollmar said. They include Nevamar, which manufactures counter-top surfaces; French/Bray, a printing firm; Keystone, an automotive plating firm; and Westinghouse.

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