As of Saturday morning, with the port shut down and no trucks running, there were about 5,000 2-ton bags of cement powder still on port property, along with an estimated 50 bags set aside and being treated as impaired in some way. These numbers are unofficial, but were obtained by a careful count of bags that can be seen from a vantage point at the end of Escambia Street.
The bad bags were carefully tarped and surrounded by straw bales. Another 3,750 bags in open-air storage were only partially tarped. Yet another large stash of bags is farther back in the port, harder to see and count, still in open air but with roofing over them.
Clearly, the cement exodus is not over.
Here is how departing bags are handled: Fork lifts hoist bags, one or two at a time, by their fasteners and move them into panel trailers pulled by semis. It’s slow-going. The parade of trucks on Dade Street. was unending — and at times blocking other vehicles — Friday and Saturday.
After the weekend, it might be wise to avoid Dade until the exodus is over.
It might be more wise for the port to abandon forays into new materials like cement and aggregates and stick to what this port was built for: lumber and paper products.
Mark Kaufman, Port Exec. Dir, implied as much in a talk before the Men’s Newcomers Club Thursday. We’ll see…
Hazardous materials should be prohibited from coming into the port, especially so close to residential and downtown business areas.
There is disagreement on what is considered “hazardous” What you and I would consider hazardous does not match legal EPA and DEP definitions.
This is correct. There are technical classifications for “nuisance” and “hazardous” materials, even if some of the specific ingredients in a nuisance item may be considered hazardous. This is precisely why the transport of the aggregates like cement introduced into our pocket port cannot be looked at in a vacuum. The proximity to neighborhoods, ingress and egress to the port through a dilapidated 2 lane state road, endangered wildlife, sensitive wetlands, wind and tides must all be considered in the equation.