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Coronet Industries, Inc.

A Message from the CEO

In January 2004—amid intense regulatory, legal and public scrutiny—I took charge as chief executive officer of Coronet Industries. I pledged to focus on making certain Coronet lived up to its responsibilities to employees, neighbors and the state of Florida.

Economic conditions in the phosphate industry—falling demand, lower prices and higher production costs—led to a decision to cease plant operations in March 2004. Coronet employees were promised a fair separation package and job assistance. It is a promise we kept.

Employees received separation pay and extended health care coverage. In addition, working with the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, Coronet also facilitated unemployment compensation claims, retraining and job assistance.

At the time operations ceased, there were concerns that Coronet might simply lock the gates and walk away. On the contrary, Coronet promised to work with government agencies to develop a site assessment and rehabilitation plan appropriate for the facility. The company still has 10 employees, and we are still actively engaged in this task. It is a promise we kept.

Here's what we have accomplished:

  • As promised, Coronet submitted to governmental agencies a site decommissioning and shutdown plan. It provided a framework to ensure that all applicable regulatory regulations were followed.
  • As promised, Coronet outlined a site assessment and rehabilitation plan. The assessment phase continues and discussions about an appropriate rehabilitation plan are ongoing. I had hoped some demolition work would have begun by now. However, legal issues beyond Coronet's control have so far prevented this work from beginning.

  • As promised, Coronet worked with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) to develop a water treatment and discharge plan. The company voluntarily agreed to incorporate that plan into an FDEP order - which, as implemented, enabled the company to weather multiple hurricanes last year and prevented uncontrolled releases from the site.

Working closely with government agencies, we hope to make even more progress toward demolition and site rehabilitation at the Coronet site in 2005. Activities include:

  • Surface water management plans. The 2005 plan outlines more stringent water treatment requirements, frequent testing and reporting requirements for theconditions under which Coronet may discharge treated water.
  • Reverse osmosis. Until now Coronet has used a liming technique to improve water quality. We have begun reverse osmosis, another proven technique, to help in the treatment process.
  • Pond dredging plan. In consultation with the FDEP, dredging has begun in one of the ponds to remove solids in order to increase settling capacity, increase water treatment efficiency and reduce the potential for interruption of treatment to remove solids during the wet weather season.

For almost a century, Coronet Industries provided good jobs and produced quality products. Today, Coronet's business focus is working with governmental agencies and dealing with litigation. We take this business just as seriously as we did when the plant was operating.

My pledge last year was to make certain Coronet lived up to its responsibilities to our employees, neighbors and the state of Florida. It is a promise we have kept so far, and a promise that continues through deeds -- not just words.

Signature

David K. Denner, CEO
Coronet Industries, Inc.

LATEST NEWS

Surface Water Treatment & Discharge

Coronet's annual treatment and discharge of surface water to keep pace with the rainy season is currently underway. We are working cooperatively with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that we meet state requirements and maintain safe water levels in our ponds.

We are pleased to report that the numerous tests conducted in the last year conclude that the water quality at the site continues to improve.


Demolition is Complete

Jackson Demolition, Inc., has completed its portion of the site demolition, which included the two concrete stacks back in December 2006. 

More than 6500 tons of scrap steel and 200,000 pounds of copper were recycled; electric motors, transformers, the locomotive, as well as several tanks and conveyors were sold for reuse; and crushed concrete and the elevated railroad bed material will be utilized on-site as part of the Pond 6 closure.


Pond 6

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has approved the general construction design for the Pond 6 Response Action and work will begin in early December. Coronet hopes to complete the project within seven months, before the start of the 2007 rainy season. Officials selected the multi-layered capping process (see below for more information on the process).


Coronet Announces Agreement on Pond 6 Action
Agreement and Work Plan Available for Public Review and Comment

Coronet Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Work Plan regarding an interim response action at the Pond 6 area of the Coronet site. The Work Plan is intended to be an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis of removal action alternatives for Pond 6 in accordance with the requirements for removal action under 40 CFR 200.415 and comparable Florida laws under Chapters 376 and 403, F.S., providing an evaluation of the effectiveness, implementability and cost of a limited number of alternatives in achieving removal action objectives.

The objective of the removal action is to expedite the process of mitigating potential risks to human health and the environment related to Pond 6, due to its historical use as the primary process water holding pond and its proximity to the southern boundary of the Site. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has selected the multi-layer capping alternative as the proposed removal action alternative. The proposed removal action mitigates the potential risks identified in the Work Plan and balances the government's desire to implement protective action at Pond 6 quickly with the statutory requirement to definitively characterize site risks and analyze remedial approaches for addressing those risks.

The Work Plan provides the scope of work that entails the construction of the multi-layer cap for the removal action at Pond 6. The multi-layer cap consists of several layers of material that when placed over the Pond sediments will prevent direct contact with the Pond 6 sediments and reduce infiltration of surface water to the underlying sediments.

The first layer of the cap consists of a geosynthetic reinforcing layer placed on top of the existing sediments to assist in supporting subsequent construction loads. The second layer is an 18-inch thick layer of sand placed over the geosynthetic layer to collect drainage from the underlying sediment during compaction under the load of the cap. The third layer is a variable thickness layer of fill to provide a sloping grade to the cap to promote storm water runoff when construction is complete. The fourth layer of the cap is a polyethylene geomembrane that provides a low permeability barrier to infiltration of surface water to the underlying layers and sediment. The final layer is a 24-inch thick protective soil cover placed on top of the low permeability geomembrane and vegetated to prevent erosion and provide long-term protection of the geomembrane.

Along with the construction of the multi-layer cap, Coronet will install a groundwater interceptor drain around the perimeter of Pond 6 to collect surficial groundwater in the vicinity of the pond.

The Administrative Settlement Agreement and Work Plan are available for public review during normal weekday business hours at these locations:

Bruton Memorial Library
302 W. McLendon Street
Plant City, Florida 33563

Department of Environmental Protection
13051 N. Telecom Parkway
Temple Terrace, Florida 33637-0926

Any person wishing to provide comments on the Work Plan shall provide such comments to Mr. Bill Kutash, Administrator, Waste Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest District, at the above-referenced address so that the Work Plan comments shall be received within 30 days of receipt of this Notice.


Two Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reports have categorized the area around the Coronet site as "no apparent public health risk."

In May 2006, the FDOH released a Draft Public Health Assessment Report. The report assesses the public health threat of wastewater discharged to English Creek and addresses community health concerns for the areas surrounding the Coronet site. The report concludes that based on the available environmental data reviewed for this and previous reports, FDOH and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) categorize the area around the Coronet site as "no apparent public health hazard." The FDOH is accepting comments from the public until July 28, 2006. Click on this link to view the report.


In September 2005, the FDOH issued a Health Consultation Report that evaluated available air quality data. The report concluded that based on the monitoring data for 2003, air around the Coronet site is categorized as "no apparent public health hazard." Click on this link to view the report.


Environmental Impact Studies Conducted at Coronet

Since August 2003, several studies have been conducted in and around the Coronet plant to characterize whether Coronet's operations have had environmental impacts on the surrounding area that could affect the health of nearby residents.  Coronet has worked with - and will continue to work with - all governmental agencies conducting studies and will continue its own environmental characterization efforts.

Overall, the environmental testing indicates that serious health risks for on-site workers or nearby residents are not likely from Coronet's operations.

Doug Holt, director of the Hillsborough County Health Department, was quoted by the Tampa Tribune on March 17th as saying, "Your water is safe to drink. Your air is safe to breathe. Your homes are safe to live in."

Click here for a document summarizing key studies and findings regarding environmental and public health effects of Coronet's operations.


Coronet Newsletter

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(Download PDF)
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News Clips

Wells Near Coronet Are Safe, Tests Show
(March 13, 2004)

Coronet Intends To Raze Structures
(March 9, 2004)

Coronet Employees To Receive Severance Package
(March 6, 2004)

Coronet Cancer Rate Normal
(March 5, 2004)

Report downplays Coronet risk
(March 5, 2004)

Click here to Access Archived News Clips


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