LUCKEY — An Idaho company will tear down the building at the former Brush Wellman site for $11.8 million.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District released an update on Friday. The Corps is in the midst of a $240 million cleanup of the former beryllium production facility.

The district recently awarded a cost reimbursable contract to Northwind Site Services LLC, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, for the removal of the former production building on the Luckey Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program site.

The awarded contract amount for removal of the building was $11.8 million.

The building is being removed to provide safe access to clean up soil underneath, which is contaminated with beryllium, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234, uranium-238 and lead.

The production building, which began to collapse earlier this year, was used for the production of beryllium from 1949-58 under a contract with the Atomic Energy Commission.

Since the Luckey site is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the district is coordinating with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office before removal of the building starts.

“We are pleased to begin the process to take this building down.” said Lt. Col. Eli S. Adams, Corps of Engineers Buffalo District commander. “The removal of this hazard is something the community has been requesting for a long time. During the deconstruction of the building, the protection of human health, including our site workers and the community, and the environment will be our highest priority.”

“This announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is another promising step in the cleanup of the Luckey site,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green. “I’ve shared the same concerns as the Luckey community about the abandoned production building, and this new contract to safely remove the contaminated structure is welcome news. I’d like to thank the Army Corps for continuing to meet with me to provide updates on their progress and for working diligently to remove contaminated soil and materials while keeping local residents safe. The added financial certainty for the project will help ensure a full and thorough cleanup is completed.”

Before work begins, the contractor will be required to submit several written plans to the Corps of Engineers regarding the methods that will be used to complete the project. Deconstruction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and is estimated to take about one year to complete.

The Corps of Engineers continues soil remediation at the site. The Phase 1 excavation area was completed in July and excavation in the Phase 2 area is currently 38% complete. The entire site remediation is 39% complete.

The Corps of Engineers continues to actively monitor the evolving coronavirus situation and is in regular communication with site personnel and contractors to emphasize the importance of taking appropriate actions — such as social distancing, wearing appropriate protective equipment, temperature screening of individuals before entry into the site, and personal hygiene measures — to safeguard employee health and welfare while working during the pandemic.

During 2019 the Corps initiated the necessary legal process to enable removal of the privately-owned building.

The cleanup on the 40-acre site is expected to be completed in 2029.

In 1942, a magnesium processing facility was built on the site, at the corner of Gilbert and Luckey roads, which at the time was government land. In 1949, a beryllium production facility was built on the site. Brush Wellman operated the site until 1957, but radioactive scrap metal stored at the site was never used for its intended purpose. The site was closed by 1960.

The cleanup project was initiated in 1974 with years of documentation and investigation.

In 2006, the Corps of Engineers signed a “record of decision” addressing the beryllium, lead, radium and uranium in the soils. Beryllium is highly toxic and is driving the cleanup.

In September 2016, the contractor began moving equipment and personnel to the site. In April 2018, the contractor completed setup activities; the first soil was transported from the site in July.

The building is owned by Industrial Properties Recovery.

During 2019 the Corps initiated the necessary legal process to enable removal of the privately-owned building.

In 1942, a magnesium processing facility was built on the site, at the corner of Gilbert and Luckey roads, which at the time was government land. In 1949, a beryllium production facility was built on the site. Brush Wellman operated the site until 1957, but radioactive scrap metal stored at the site was never used for its intended purpose. The site was closed by 1960.

The cleanup project was initiated in 1974 with years of documentation and investigation.

In 2006, the Corps of Engineers signed a “record of decision” addressing the beryllium, lead, radium and uranium in the soils. Beryllium is highly toxic and is driving the cleanup.

In September 2016, the contractor began moving equipment and personnel to the site. In April 2018, the contractor completed setup activities; the first soil was transported from the site in July.

The building is owned privately, by Industrial Properties Recovery. It was announced in April 2019 that the building will be taken down.

The cleanup on the 40-acre site is expected to be completed in 2029.

An infographic tracking cleanup progress is posted weekly to the web at https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/HTRW/FUSRAP/Luckey-Site/. Those interested in receiving email updates on progress made at the Luckey Site can email fusrap@usace.army.mil.

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