Dangerous waste delisting and treatment variance
The comment period on the proposed decision to allow Emerald Kalama Chemical (Emerald) to change how it manages some its waste ended Feb. 22, 2022. We're reviewing any comments received and working with the EPA before making a final decision.
Emerald’s wastewater treatment facility generates industrial wastewater biological solids (IWBS) that federal and state law consider to be listed federal hazardous and state dangerous waste. Emerald collected data showing that the IWBS does not contain enough harmful chemicals to be considered dangerous and submitted delisting and treatment variance petitions to:
- Exclude (or “delist”) up to 3,500 cubic yards annually of waste code U019 (benzene) and U220 (toluene) IWBS dangerous waste from the list of federal hazardous and state dangerous wastes.
- Manage this waste as solid waste instead of dangerous waste.
If approved, these petitions would allow the company to manage the waste as solid waste instead of dangerous waste, and dispose of the material in a permitted solid waste landfill.
Cleanup activities at Fire Mountain Farms sites
In Aug. 2020, we approved the final closure plan for Emerald and Fire Mountain Farms (FMF) to remove delisted mixed material formerly classified as a hazardous waste from three facilities owned and operated by FMF in Lewis County. This plan outlines how the companies will remove and properly dispose of any wastewater, solids, and contaminated soil during cleaning of the three storage facilities.
What's going on now?
Cleanup activites are complete at the following locations.
Portions of the Burnt Ridge site is still undergoing closure and cleanup activities.
Waste was found to not contain enough harmful chemicals to be considered hazardous
In the spring of 2020, we approved petitions that allow Emerald and FMF to change how they manage waste being stored at three locations in Lewis County. The final decision occurred following a public review and comment period that ended Dec. 12, 2019. While state and federal law currently consider the waste to be “listed” as hazardous waste, the companies collected data that shows it does not contain enough harmful chemicals to be considered dangerous.
Emerald Kalama began operating an organic chemical plant in 1962 and currently has about 215 employees at it's Kalama plant. It processes toluene into chemicals for food, flavor, fragrance, and pharmaceutical industries.
- It produces about 194,000 tons of chemicals each year.
- Wastewater from the chemical-making process is treated and sent to the Columbia River. This makes up approximately 2 percent of all the wastewater from this facility.
- About 98 percent of what is sent to the Columbia River is non-contact cooling water.
The Southwest Clean Air Agency regulates the plant's air quality activities. Visit the Southwest Clean Air Agency website or call 360-574-3058 for more information.
Emerald Kalama Contacts
Facility phone: 360-673-2550
Location: 1296 Third St. NW, Kalama, Wash.