EFI Global was hired by Glatfelter Claims Management Inc. of York, Pa., representing American Alternative Insurance Corp., the plant’s insurance company. It is denying coverage, saying the collapse “was caused by excluded faulty design, workmanship and/or installation.”
The board knew about the design, workmanship and/or installation issues before the policy started last Jan. 1, according to Glatfelter’s letter to Aingworth and the board.
The other report, by Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. of New York, was commissioned by C&S Engineers Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y., Phase III engineer and construction manager, to determine safety in the damaged areas.
The plant’s 41 union workers have not entered the damaged area since June, citing safety concerns.
Mark Kotzin, Civil Service Employees Association spokesman, said they would not return to until the New York Dept. of Labor notified them it was safe.
DOL investigators examined the site in late May but have not yet issued a report. Meanwhile, seven non-union workers are handling those operations.
Milan Vatovec, senior principal of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, said, “… the majority of the structural elements of the treatment facility we analyzed are safe to remain in operation in the short term.”
But he also cited 34 walls or wall segments that are “significantly overstressed,” reducing safety.
The main structural elements of the C-Filter complex, where the collapse occurred, “do not meet the minimum design requirements” of concrete and masonry codes, he said.
That area is part of the plant’s biological aerated filtration (BAF) secondary treatment area. It includes eight C cells – four were destroyed when the wall fell – eight N cells and four DN cells. Vatovec said that “…under no circumstances,” are the four remaining C cells “adequate to support loads associated with operational levels of water” and treatment material. He wants water out of the C cells, four DN cells and two N cells, though treatment material can remain.
Vatovec also recommends: