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Facility Fire Response
HEPACO
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Facility Fire Response

On November 19, 2014, Bekaert experienced a fire on its bead wire line at the wire plant located in Rome, Georgia. On November 20, Mr. Boazman of Bekaert requested a response from HEPACO, initially to assist with the disposal of approximately 30,000 gallons of low pH water from fire suppression activities. HEPACO responded to the site to meet with Bekaert representatives and obtain a signed contract.

HEPACO then mobilized several tankers and pump to the site to begin loading the fire suppression water that had been contaminated with a mixture of acetic acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid and transporting it to HEPACO’s waste water treatment plant in Doraville, Georgia. As HEPACO began operations, the US EPA Emergency Response on-scene coordinator and the Georgia EPD identified an offsite retention pond that had been affected by the low pH water. Bekaert asked HEPACO to mobilize resources to the pond and begin removal and disposal of this contaminated water.

Additionally, HEPACO was asked to assist in efforts to prevent any further contamination from leaving the site. HEPACO coordinated efforts with Georgia EPD and US EPA representatives to build two coffer dams at the outfall points from the site and place additional filter fences in downstream areas to protect downstream waterways. Throughout the first night and second day, HEPACO focused on protective efforts to mitigate contamination from leaving the site. After initial efforts were completed, HEPACO returned to the original task. While working on removal of fire suppression water, HEPACO was additionally tasked with efforts to prevent further contamination of the site from storm water entering the building and leaving the site via storm drains.

HEPACO was then tasked with demolition of a portion of the structure that was attached to the electrical switch room. Due to building collapse, there was a concern that the weight of the building pulling on the switch room might cause it to collapse as well, which would severely hinder restoration efforts already underway to get the facility operational again. HEPACO immediately mobilized a 250-ton shear and a track hoe with thumb attachment to detach the collapsing structure from the switch room. HEPACO equipment operators and manager formulated a plan to detach the structure without causing damage to the switch room. Surgical precision was used throughout the night to detach the structures.

After the demolition was completed, HEPACO was asked to build a temporary roof structure over the switch room to protect the sensitive electronic equipment inside from a weather event that was approximately 36 hours out from the site. During the next 36 hours, HEPACO erected a roof structure approximately 24 feet wide by 180 feet long.

HEPACO is pleased to announce the project was completed safely and in compliance with all Federal and state environmental regulations directed by US EPA and Georgia EPD.

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