Onalaska biochar scandal


Albert Bates
 

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Stephen Joseph
 

Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Albert Bates
 

I tried to look it up on this map of biochar projects: https://map.geoengineeringmonitor.org/ but it was not listed.

On 6/19/21 7:42 PM, Stephen Joseph wrote:
Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


--
BURN: Using Fire to Cool the Earth

Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology
Summertown TN 38483-0090


Tom Miles
 

The system was a series of heated augers. The tars and oils were condensed and the non-condensable gas was flared. The owners developed the auger technology and tested a full scale pilot prior to building their production facility. They reportedly had biochar customers in Washington and Oregon. As far as I know the plant was for sale for some time before being purchased by the company named below.

 

It is not a good story. It will have financial and regulatory impacts on anyone who wants to build a new facility, or even a pilot facility. We have seen this in the past with gasifiers that have not properly disposed of liquid wastes.   


Tom  

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Joseph
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2021 5:42 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Hugh McLaughlin
 

Group,

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

- Hugh

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:


Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Francesco Tortorici
 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.

Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Group,

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

- Hugh

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:


Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Tom Miles
 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Rick Wilson
 

At one point I almost bought a truckload of biochar from them, when I tested it it was full of sodium.  
They told me that the sodium addition was part of a cannabis soil amendment product that they had transitioned to. 

I never asked what compound they were adding to the biochar, my application was soils and the last thing I wanted to do was add sodium.

Rick

On Jun 20, 2021, at 9:07 AM, Francesco Tortorici <francesco@...> wrote:

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.

Francesco

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.
Leonardo Da Vinci


On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Group,

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

- Hugh

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:


Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”







Stephen Joseph
 

So lessons

Dont condense the syngas unless you have a market for the wood vinegar and a method of disposing of the tar and the contaminated water.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 11:44 AM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Group,

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

- Hugh

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:


Hi Albert

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

Not a good story.

Regards
Stephen

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm
By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Elona Trogub
 

Hi everyone- 

First - a quick introduction. I'm involved with the Wind River Project in Carson, WA and we're working on setting up a 25 acre circular-economy based biomass utilization campus. You can watch a 2-min video about it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPRiPCiepZQ

Since we are in Washington state and working to get a gasifier up and running, with biochar as one of the products, I feel like this disaster is going to put ever more scrutinizing eyes on us. We have a Chiptek P20 system and I'm not sure how much wood vinegar and tar we should anticipate producing at full capacity. 

We're updating our business plan and I want to make sure that we take into account the tar and wood vinegar byproducts so that we don't end up with our own environmental disaster. We'll only be at around 1/5th the scale as this Onalaska operation (based on my understanding of how much char they were producing) but we'll definitely need to account for the byproducts. 

Does anyone have any recommendations for integrating wood vinegar safely into compost? We plan on making compost on site. 

What could the tar be sold/given away for? Road pavement? 

Thanks!


Frank Strie
 

Dear oh dear!!!

… “animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor”.

Masking / hiding/ cover things up is not a successful business model.
Such bad examples of ‘
shonky or dodgy business practices’ will sadly pop up from time to time around the world in all sorts of sectors.
Having been involved in this topic with a glocal / local to global interest, it is clear that anyone who cares to get things right can find information from small, low tech - entrance level to industrial scale.
Here are just two quick links from two countries, the pictures tell the story:
https://youtu.be/4pEQ2QOAfhk?t=317

https://thisnzlife.co.nz/4-ways-to-know-if-youve-made-good-biochar
Yes there is also the ‘legal fraternity’, the local and national regulators  and the formal standards process, but when individuals and business have a intergenerationally responsible and circular economy agenda, then such scandalous examples will be minimal.
It is in our personal commitment to produce best practice production at any scale according to the conditions that will move and mobilise effective carbon action.  Thank again Tom Miles and all to provide this platform of conversation.
Cheers from under Down Under
Frank again

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 2:25 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Tom Miles
 

Elona

Not to worry. The Chiptec will burn out the tars and oils. If your agency people ask you can refer them to me. We did the feasibility study for your system with Wisewood. 

Tom

T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.
tmiles@...
Sent from mobile. 

On Jun 20, 2021, at 5:10 PM, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:



Dear oh dear!!!

… “animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor”.

Masking / hiding/ cover things up is not a successful business model.
Such bad examples of ‘
shonky or dodgy business practices’ will sadly pop up from time to time around the world in all sorts of sectors.
Having been involved in this topic with a glocal / local to global interest, it is clear that anyone who cares to get things right can find information from small, low tech - entrance level to industrial scale.
Here are just two quick links from two countries, the pictures tell the story:
https://youtu.be/4pEQ2QOAfhk?t=317

https://thisnzlife.co.nz/4-ways-to-know-if-youve-made-good-biochar
Yes there is also the ‘legal fraternity’, the local and national regulators  and the formal standards process, but when individuals and business have a intergenerationally responsible and circular economy agenda, then such scandalous examples will be minimal.
It is in our personal commitment to produce best practice production at any scale according to the conditions that will move and mobilise effective carbon action.  Thank again Tom Miles and all to provide this platform of conversation.
Cheers from under Down Under
Frank again

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 2:25 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Tom Nelson
 

Hello Elona,

One of the main problems with Karr Products wood vinegar is that it was derived from resinous pine. This makes it highly toxic and loaded with tar. If your feedstock is deciduous wood or crop based the resulting vinegar will be much more friendly, and possibly even have commercial value. The only possibility I see for pine based vinegar is as an herbicide, but the problem remains that it has to be purified before it can be used. A lot of product development still needed for that as well.

Tom




On Jun 20, 2021, at 8:44 PM, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Elona

Not to worry. The Chiptec will burn out the tars and oils. If your agency people ask you can refer them to me. We did the feasibility study for your system with Wisewood. 

Tom

T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.
tmiles@...
Sent from mobile. 

On Jun 20, 2021, at 5:10 PM, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:



Dear oh dear!!!

… “animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor”.

Masking / hiding/ cover things up is not a successful business model.
Such bad examples of ‘
shonky or dodgy business practices’ will sadly pop up from time to time around the world in all sorts of sectors.
Having been involved in this topic with a glocal / local to global interest, it is clear that anyone who cares to get things right can find information from small, low tech - entrance level to industrial scale.
Here are just two quick links from two countries, the pictures tell the story:
https://youtu.be/4pEQ2QOAfhk?t=317

https://thisnzlife.co.nz/4-ways-to-know-if-youve-made-good-biochar
Yes there is also the ‘legal fraternity’, the local and national regulators  and the formal standards process, but when individuals and business have a intergenerationally responsible and circular economy agenda, then such scandalous examples will be minimal.
It is in our personal commitment to produce best practice production at any scale according to the conditions that will move and mobilise effective carbon action.  Thank again Tom Miles and all to provide this platform of conversation.
Cheers from under Down Under
Frank again

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 2:25 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Tom Miles
 

Tom Nelson,

 

You make liquids in a heated auger which either you burn or condense for use. Karr Group condensed and stored the liquid. The stored liquid is the problem. The plant processed primarily hardwood and Douglas Fir or Hemlock softwood which are not inherently resinous.

 

Elona’s gasifier burns the vapors and non-condensable gas so there will not be a liquid problem. Many of these gasifiers, and others like them, are in operation. Several similar gasifiers are recovering char which is sold commercially through established distribution channels for a variety of uses, mostly in landscape, turf and trees.   

 

Tom Miles

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Nelson
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 6:54 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Hello Elona,

 

One of the main problems with Karr Products wood vinegar is that it was derived from resinous pine. This makes it highly toxic and loaded with tar. If your feedstock is deciduous wood or crop based the resulting vinegar will be much more friendly, and possibly even have commercial value. The only possibility I see for pine based vinegar is as an herbicide, but the problem remains that it has to be purified before it can be used. A lot of product development still needed for that as well.

 

Tom

 

 



On Jun 20, 2021, at 8:44 PM, Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Elona

 

Not to worry. The Chiptec will burn out the tars and oils. If your agency people ask you can refer them to me. We did the feasibility study for your system with Wisewood. 

 

Tom

T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.

Sent from mobile. 



On Jun 20, 2021, at 5:10 PM, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:



Dear oh dear!!!

… “animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor”.

Masking / hiding/ cover things up is not a successful business model.
Such bad examples of ‘shonky or dodgy business practices’ will sadly pop up from time to time around the world in all sorts of sectors.
Having been involved in this topic with a glocal / local to global interest, it is clear that anyone who cares to get things right can find information from small, low tech - entrance level to industrial scale.
Here are just two quick links from two countries, the pictures tell the story:
https://youtu.be/4pEQ2QOAfhk?t=317

https://thisnzlife.co.nz/4-ways-to-know-if-youve-made-good-biochar
Yes there is also the ‘legal fraternity’, the local and national regulators  and the formal standards process, but when individuals and business have a intergenerationally responsible and circular economy agenda, then such scandalous examples will be minimal.
It is in our personal commitment to produce best practice production at any scale according to the conditions that will move and mobilise effective carbon action.  Thank again Tom Miles and all to provide this platform of conversation.
Cheers from under Down Under
Frank again


From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 2:25 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”


Elona Trogub
 

Excellent, thank you, Tom. 


On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 5:44 PM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:
Elona

Not to worry. The Chiptec will burn out the tars and oils. If your agency people ask you can refer them to me. We did the feasibility study for your system with Wisewood. 

Tom

T R Miles Technical Consultants Inc.
Sent from mobile. 

On Jun 20, 2021, at 5:10 PM, Frank Strie <frank.strie@...> wrote:



Dear oh dear!!!

… “animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor”.

Masking / hiding/ cover things up is not a successful business model.
Such bad examples of ‘
shonky or dodgy business practices’ will sadly pop up from time to time around the world in all sorts of sectors.
Having been involved in this topic with a glocal / local to global interest, it is clear that anyone who cares to get things right can find information from small, low tech - entrance level to industrial scale.
Here are just two quick links from two countries, the pictures tell the story:
https://youtu.be/4pEQ2QOAfhk?t=317

https://thisnzlife.co.nz/4-ways-to-know-if-youve-made-good-biochar
Yes there is also the ‘legal fraternity’, the local and national regulators  and the formal standards process, but when individuals and business have a intergenerationally responsible and circular economy agenda, then such scandalous examples will be minimal.
It is in our personal commitment to produce best practice production at any scale according to the conditions that will move and mobilise effective carbon action.  Thank again Tom Miles and all to provide this platform of conversation.
Cheers from under Down Under
Frank again

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Miles
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2021 2:25 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

Francesco,

 

They had success when they combined the vinegar enriched biochar into a soil amendment or with animal waste based fertilizers which likely masked the odor.

 

When you are making biochar or biochar based products you just can’t ignore your environmental and safety obligations.  

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Francesco Tortorici
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] Onalaska biochar scandal

 

It is my understanding that for a time they were "disposing" of their wood vinegar by pouring on the biochar they were selling.  That didn't go over to well with purchasers.


Francesco

 

We know more about the stars overhead than the soil underfoot.

Leonardo Da Vinci

 

 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 6:44 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:

Group,

 

The facility was known to belong the Karr Group (http://karrgroupco.com/) and the process was a heated screw slow pyrolysis technology. The principal waste seems to be wood vinegar = pyroligneous acid, accumulated during operations and lacking a commercial outlet. A sad story, and without a silver lining.

 

- Hugh

 

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 8:42:29 PM EDT, Stephen Joseph <joey.stephen@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi Albert

 

was this a fast pyrolysis process?

 

Not a good story.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

Once-Celebrated Onalaska Company Leaves Behind 100,000 Gallons of Hazardous Waste

Biofuel: Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup Began This Week After Company Leaves Massive Mess

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:38 pm

By Claudia Yaw / cyaw@...

In 2014, Onalaska Wood Energy was an exciting local prospect, hoping to turn forestry scraps into “biochar” — a high-carbon agricultural product and proposed climate mitigation strategy. In a Climate Tour that year, Gov. Jay Inslee awarded the company $20,000, calling it “one of the leaders in biofuel technology.”

But by March 2020, Onalaska Wood Energy had dissolved. What’s left behind on the 8-acre property is approximately 100,000 gallons of hazardous waste now being cleaned up by state and federal agencies. The facility has a history of fires and at least one structural collapse, posing the threat of a spill — or combustion — that could impact nearby communities, estuaries, Gheer Creek, threatened species and the Onalaska wastewater treatment plant.

“Back in 2014, when this began, I don’t know if people fully appreciated what the waste stream would be like. Obviously they didn’t, and so here we are,” on-scene coordinator Brooks Stanfield told The Chronicle.

Stanfield said he underestimated the site, questioning how wood could be turned into substances so toxic. But “the more information we gathered on the waste — it’s the worst it gets.”

At the request of the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nearly $890,000 emergency cleanup this week. It could be complete by mid-July. Backlogs at waste disposal sites mean the waste will be hauled off by trucks and trains to sites in Idaho and Utah.

On Wednesday, a 12-person team with respirators and hazmat suits worked to empty hundreds of containers of dangerously-acidic wood vinegar and sludgy wood tar.

In the grand scheme of things, Stanfield said the property could likely be reused for another industrial purpose, but “this is not going to be a daycare any time soon.”

Previously, the site housed the Alexander Lumber Mill, but was later taken over by Onalaska Wood Energy, which used the six-building facility at 1674 state Route 508 to perform wood pyrolysis. And while the hope was to sell the vinegar and tar, EPA documents say the company couldn’t prove the products fell below hazardous waste thresholds, “and never successfully identified a market for the waste.”

The current owners of the property, Stanfield noted, inherited the hazardous waste last year, and have been “impeccable partners” to the federal agency.

Samples taken by the EPA detected several hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants, including arsenic, carcinogens and toxins to aquatic life.

“Release of liquid waste from an incident such as a building collapse could expose on-site workers, emergency responders, and individuals on neighboring properties to corrosive, acutely toxic and carcinogenic substances through inhalation and dermal contact,” a May memorandum from the EPA reads.

Beyond humans, the chemicals could impact nearby Gheer Creek, a rearing site for salmon and steelhead. Local high school students also use the creek to release hatchery-produced fish as part of a celebrated aquaculture technical program. This April, students were joined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Chehalis Tribe, as well as U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in releasing 35,000 steelhead and 100,000 coho salmon smolts into the creek.

“This property drains … right into that creek, so if there’s a spill here, that’s going to impact this fantastic community asset,” Stanfield said.

The EPA also identified 11 threatened or protected species within a 5-mile radius of the site, including bull trout, streaked horned lark and western screech-owl.

The fear of local contamination from the old mill site has come to fruition before.

In 2017, The Chronicle reported that Onalaska Wood Energy got slapped with a $2,000 fine after illegally discharging stormwater “contaminated with dangerous waste into state waters.” The company also reportedly dumped material directly onto the land, which made its way through a drainage ditch to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Last year, a new entity began operating on the property — CJC West LLC — and was ordered by Ecology to properly manage and dispose of the accumulated waste. The company never formally responded, according to the EPA, and ceased operations in February of this year.

In January, when officials expressed structural concerns about one open-air building housing tens of thousands of gallons of waste near residential homes, CJC West relocated the material. Just days later, part of the roof collapsed during a winter storm. 

Two recent on-site fires also raised concerns. Large piles of sawdust and “limited fire suppression water available on site” elevate fire risk on the property, according to the EPA. One fire was caused by an electrical shortage in a forklift, which was leaking fuels onto sawdust. Another started when friction ignited charcoal. Smoke from the hazardous waste stored on-site could impact residents within a 2-mile radius.

On Monday, Lewis County Code Compliance Officer Bill Teitzel told the local board of health that cleanup will be “pretty visible” to passersby. While the county will be largely hands-off in the cleanup process, Tietzel noted that local officials’ biggest concern is hazardous waste impacting the wastewater treatment plant again.

According to EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski, an evaluation of how much environmental contamination has already occured may come later, as well as a determination of who’s financially culpable. A 1980 law informally known as “Superfund” gives the EPA broad power to force responsible parties to pay for cleanups.

“We have legal authority to really dig deep and look hard at who might be responsible,” she said. “Be it one company, 10 companies, whether they’re still in business or not. We’ve got smart people that can find who’s responsible.”



--
Elona Trogub
Operations Director, Gorge Greens
971-235-9837 (c) text preferred


Kelpie Wilson
 

Wood vinegar and biochar can be a good combination. Of course the wood vinegar has to be properly refined to remove the tars and oils - in low tech situations this is done by gravity - letting the liquids sit for a few months to separate into light and heavy fractions. In a commercial situation you would want to make extra sure that the wood vinegar has no tars or turpentine-like solvents. 
If clean though, the wood vinegar can be very useful. A while ago Stephen Joseph sent me this wood vinegar handbook, attached, from Japan. Lots of useful information about applications, including the use of charcoal soaked in wood vinegar.

--
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA

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Geoff Thomas
 

What a shame that  Onalaska plant was put in charge of fearful, ignorant, folk, - all that wood vinegar destroyed..

Geoff Thomas.

On 22 Jun 2021, at 11:33 am, Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...> wrote:

Wood vinegar and biochar can be a good combination. Of course the wood vinegar has to be properly refined to remove the tars and oils - in low tech situations this is done by gravity - letting the liquids sit for a few months to separate into light and heavy fractions. In a commercial situation you would want to make extra sure that the wood vinegar has no tars or turpentine-like solvents. 
If clean though, the wood vinegar can be very useful. A while ago Stephen Joseph sent me this wood vinegar handbook, attached, from Japan. Lots of useful information about applications, including the use of charcoal soaked in wood vinegar.

--
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA

Join the US Biochar Initiative North American Biochar Industry Directory. Go to https://biochar-us.org/get-usbi-directory-listing to get your free listing.
<HIROWAKA TSUYOSHI Wood vinegar manual.pdf>


Elona Trogub
 

Who knows - maybe you can reach out to them and get it! 

On Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 10:15 PM Geoff Thomas <wind@...> wrote:
What a shame that  Onalaska plant was put in charge of fearful, ignorant, folk, - all that wood vinegar destroyed..

Geoff Thomas.

On 22 Jun 2021, at 11:33 am, Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...> wrote:

Wood vinegar and biochar can be a good combination. Of course the wood vinegar has to be properly refined to remove the tars and oils - in low tech situations this is done by gravity - letting the liquids sit for a few months to separate into light and heavy fractions. In a commercial situation you would want to make extra sure that the wood vinegar has no tars or turpentine-like solvents. 
If clean though, the wood vinegar can be very useful. A while ago Stephen Joseph sent me this wood vinegar handbook, attached, from Japan. Lots of useful information about applications, including the use of charcoal soaked in wood vinegar.

--
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA

Join the US Biochar Initiative North American Biochar Industry Directory. Go to https://biochar-us.org/get-usbi-directory-listing to get your free listing.
<HIROWAKA TSUYOSHI Wood vinegar manual.pdf>

--
Elona Trogub
Operations Director, Gorge Greens
971-235-9837 (c) text preferred


mikethewormguy
 

Kelpie,

Thanks for sharing the WV manual.   

I am finding Pyroligneous Acid is a useful and flexible ingredient.

my 2 cents,

Mike


 

It IS sad to say goodbye to all that wood vinegar.  I believe WV is a positive force for some coppice startup.  Alba is hard to start.  Just a tablespoon in the water per 100 cuttings increases alba survival.  I used WV from cottonwood fiber.  It has settled for at least a year.  These are my findings.

David Derbowka




David R Derbowka

Chief Executive Officer

Passive Remediation Systems Ltd.

Tel: +1 250 306 6377 | 
eMail: david.derbowka@... |Web: prsi.ca |



Virus-free. www.avast.com


On Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 10:26 PM Elona Trogub <elona@...> wrote:
Who knows - maybe you can reach out to them and get it! 

On Mon, Jun 21, 2021 at 10:15 PM Geoff Thomas <wind@...> wrote:
What a shame that  Onalaska plant was put in charge of fearful, ignorant, folk, - all that wood vinegar destroyed..

Geoff Thomas.

On 22 Jun 2021, at 11:33 am, Kelpie Wilson <kelpiew@...> wrote:

Wood vinegar and biochar can be a good combination. Of course the wood vinegar has to be properly refined to remove the tars and oils - in low tech situations this is done by gravity - letting the liquids sit for a few months to separate into light and heavy fractions. In a commercial situation you would want to make extra sure that the wood vinegar has no tars or turpentine-like solvents. 
If clean though, the wood vinegar can be very useful. A while ago Stephen Joseph sent me this wood vinegar handbook, attached, from Japan. Lots of useful information about applications, including the use of charcoal soaked in wood vinegar.

--
Email: kelpiew@...
Mobile: 541-218-9890
Time zone: Pacific Time, USA

Join the US Biochar Initiative North American Biochar Industry Directory. Go to https://biochar-us.org/get-usbi-directory-listing to get your free listing.
<HIROWAKA TSUYOSHI Wood vinegar manual.pdf>

--
Elona Trogub
Operations Director, Gorge Greens
971-235-9837 (c) text preferred