Ports & Terminals

Watco Announces Business Model Adjustments At Chicago Ferro Terminal

Watco Companies LLC, Pittsburg, Kan., announced February 22 that after considering the concerns of the community, Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski-Garza, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), its Chicago Ferro Terminal will no longer handle bulk concentrated manganese material—specifically high carbon manganese and silicon manganese in bulk format at its location on the Calumet River on the southside of Chicago.

Watco said that it stands by its long-standing foundational principles of creating solutions for its customers, as well as focusing on the safety of its team members, communities and the environment.

While the terminal has handled this material for more than 30 years—Watco only acquired the terminal in February 2017—Watco said that it is undertaking the repurposing of its Chicago Ferro Terminal and in doing so, will continue complying with all EPA and CDPH bulk material handing rules and regulations.

The company said a new operations plan is in development to stop inbound bulk manganese and remove the remaining manganese at the terminal in consultation and cooperation with its customers.

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Watco also announced the results for its air quality monitoring program for its Chicago Ferro Terminal for December 2018 and January 2019. As reported to the EPA, December 2018 results came in at .254 microgram/cubic meter and .217 microgram/cubic meter for January 2019.

The measures and best management practices put in place at the terminal have resulted in a 0.235 microgram/cubic meter average for the last two reported months—well below the minimum risk level as set forth by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for chronic exposure, the company said.

Watco said that it appreciates the advocacy of Sadlowski-Garza for her community and the guidance received from EPA and CDPH in helping the firm address the community’s concerns.