Everything he touches turns to gold. Well, not actually, it really turns into a toxic mess.
Our friends from the EPA were unavailable for comment.
It’s not just the leftover hazardous materials, but also the machinery used to apply them to the glass tubes. “Certainly those tools will need to be decontaminated, cleaned up, handled correctly as they are taken apart,” he said.
Swardenski told CBS 5 the disposal process is going smoothly in Fremont, but what about nearby Milpitas? Solyndra leased a building on California Circle for the final assembly of its solar panels. But the cleanup at the leased building in Milpitas is in limbo, because Solyndra doesn’t want to pay.
CBS 5 found the building locked up, with no one around. At the back, a hazardous storage area was found. There were discarded buckets half filled with liquids and barrels labeled “hazardous waste.”
The building’s owner, a company called iStar, claimed in court documents, “there may be serious environmental, health and safety issues” at the premises. According to the documents, they include, “numerous containers of solvents and chemicals…and processing equipment contaminated with lead.”
“Essentially it looks like they left a pretty big mess behind,” San Jose State Assistant Professor Dustin Mulvaney told CBS 5. Mulvaney has written a white paper (.pdf) on solar industry waste for the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
Looking at CBS 5’s video, Mulvaney said it’s hard to tell how much hazardous waste is at the Milpitas facility. But he said one thing is for sure.
“Materials labeled hazardous waste require a lot more protocol, so its actually a lot more expensive to clean,” Mulvaney said. “It’s very sad looking at this facility taken apart like this, because a lot of money went into building this.”
Swardenski feels the same way. “It is hard. They are beautiful buildings; there was a lot of effort put into them. But we’ll work as hard to pout them back into productive use,” he said.
Maybe they should use them as the local Obama headquarters.