This story has been going on for a while now in Alabama. It has been discovered that the former mercury-cell chlorine plant operated by Olin chemicals continues to release mercury into the environment, even after it has converted to new technology. Why? Rather than disposing of the wastes properly, waste byproducts of the old mercury-cell process sit on-site, fully exposed to weather and rainfall. Their only protection is a chain-link fence. In addition, mercury-containing brine was used to pave a local street.
The Mobile Register has been following this story pretty extensively. On one occasion, our own scientist, Kim Warner, went down to Alabama to help conduct soil and water testing on-site.
This article features interviews with environmental managers and scientists (who have experience with current or former mercury-cell chlorine plants) weighing in on the dangers of this contaminated site.
This just continues to show the dangers of the mercury-cell process and the need for all remaining plants to convert to mercury-free technology. I just wonder: if this happened at a plant in Mobile, AL, how contaminated is the site of the plant in Muscle Shoals, AL that’s still operating?