Omya Verpol Site
in Florence, Vermont
"AEEA, which causes birth defects in laboratory rats, was found in groundwater on Omya’s property. The chemical was also found in a nondrinking water spring on private property but at levels well below Vermont’s safe drinking water standards of 20 parts-per-billion."
-- Rutland Herald, March 3, 2008
"An ongoing environmental review of Omya's site discovered a previously undiscovered chemical in Omya's process water called aminoethyl-ethanolamine, or AEEA. The chemical is found in the flotation reagent that's used to separate the tailing from the calcium carbonate product.
"It is in groundwater on site and it's gotten off site into a spring," said Smith, who also heads Vermonters for a Clean Environment."
"In a Nov. 5 letter, the Department of Environmental Conservation informed the state Health Department of the discovery of AEEA. The DEC noted that two unpublished reports concluded that the chemical causes birth defects in laboratory animals and likely would cause similar defects in humans.
"In its response to the DEC letter, Omya said it has since revised its handling of the process water to reduce the amount of water containing AEEA. The company also said it was working with its supplier to reduce the amount of the chemical in its flotation reagent."
Rutland Herald, Dec. 4, 2007
Omya pumps tailings to two open impoundments dug in 1999. Water is pumped back to the plant. Each pit is dug out every 6 mos.
The west settling cell has been dug out and is ready to receive tailings. The east settling cell, shown left, is ready to be dug out.