New York river sludge winds up in Oklahoma

Oklahoma legislative panel approves a measure that would allow a hazardous waste facility in northwestern Oklahoma to charge a certain fee for the nonhazardous waste sludge from the Hudson River.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 2, 2013
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Sludge from the Hudson River is ending up in Oklahoma.

Nontoxic sludge from the New York river is being shipped by train to Avard in Woods County in northwestern Oklahoma, and then hauled by truck to the Cool Harbors Lone Mountain hazardous waste facility about 15 miles west of Orienta.

A legislative committee passed a bill Monday that would allow Cool Harbors to charge the nontoxic rate for the sludge.

Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, said nonhazardous waste facilities charge $1.25 per ton to store nonhazardous waste and hazardous waste facilities, such as Lone Mountain, charge $9 per ton to store hazardous waste.

But there is no provision on how much a hazardous waste facility may charge to store nonhazardous waste, he said. Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Hickman, would allow hazardous waste facilities to charge $1.25 per ton to store nonhazardous waste.

Hickman said the project to clean sludge from the Hudson River is expected to take five years.

Hundreds of rail cars are arriving weekly at Avard, the closest rail site to the Lone Mountain facility, he said. Hundreds of trucks are hauling the waste from Avard through Waynoka to the Lone Mountain facility, he said.

The House of Representatives budget subcommittee on natural resources and regulatory services voted 7-0 to pass SB 25. It now goes to the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.