Alan McKim, chairman and CEO of Clean Harbors, tours the recently expanded hazardous waste incinerator facility in El Dorado, Arkansas, Dec. 6, 2016. (Gareth Patterson/AP Images for Clean Harbors)
Norwell, Massachusetts-based Clean Harbors’ El Dorado incineration facility has completed its $120 million expansion, adding a third incinerator and 120 new jobs to southern Arkansas.
Clean Harbors El Dorado is designed to be North America’s most technologically advanced hazardous waste incinerator. Employing world-class air emissions control technology that meets the most stringent air emissions standards under the Federal Clean Air Act, it is the first American commercial hazardous waste incinerator to come online in nearly 20 years.
The expansion adds a third incinerator to the 370-acre facility, which specializes in high-temperature destruction of hazardous and nonhazardous materials. The advanced new equipment nearly doubles the facility’s capacity from 90,000 tons of material annually to approximately 160,000 tons each year.
“Clean Harbors is proud to make this investment in El Dorado,” says Clean Harbors Chairman and CEO Alan McKim. “We’re confident that these new jobs and increased business activity will benefit the region and the entire state. Our organization is excited to build upon our longtime, strong relationship with El Dorado.”
Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, adds, “The updates and enhancements Clean Harbors is making to its facility in El Dorado are exciting for South Arkansas. Not only will the added jobs and investment be an economic stimulus for the area, but the state-of-the-art technology will protect the environment and support good quality of life for all residents.”
Four years in the making—a two-year permitting process followed by a two-year build—the expansion was formally unveiled to state and local officials, along with business leaders. It is the largest single capital infusion to a facility in the 36-year history of Clean Harbors, a leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services in North America.
The facility specializes in high-temperature incineration of regulated waste materials—such as industrial and laboratory chemicals, manufacturing byproducts, medical waste, fertilizers and other solid and liquid materials—that would otherwise be hazardous to the environment and public health if not properly managed. Destruction in high-temperature incinerators has been determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after extensive review, to be the Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT) for safely and effectively destroying hazardous waste compounds.
“This is truly a cutting-edge facility that will continue to protect the environment and future generations for decades to come,” says McKim. “As the continent’s industry leader in the destruction of hazardous materials, we couldn’t have envisioned a better facility. This is everything we hoped for and more.”
With the expansion, Clean Harbors El Dorado will employ 375 people, including engineers, maintenance mechanics, welders, pipe fitters, hydraulics operators, drivers and industrial service technicians.
Recognized as one of the safest job sites in the industry, the facility employs a team of highly talented and trained individuals who are committed to the protection of health and the environment within the workplace and throughout the El Dorado community. Clean Harbors El Dorado has been recertified for four consecutive years as a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site, the U.S. Department of Labor’s highest certification level. In February, the facility surpassed 1 million hours without a lost time workplace injury, a streak of top safety performance that continues today.
“Safety has always been our top priority as a company and will remain our top priority here in El Dorado as we gain even greater capacity with this expansion,” says Dan Roblee, the facility’s general manager.