Commitments and Contingent Liabilities
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|Commitments and Contingent Liabilities
25. Commitments and Contingent Liabilities:
There is a risk of environmental impact in chemical manufacturing operations. The Company’s environmental policies and practices are designed to comply with existing laws and regulations and to minimize the possibility of significant environmental impact. The Company is also subject to various other lawsuits and claims with respect to matters such as governmental regulations, labor and other actions arising out of the normal course of business. All claims that are probable and reasonably estimable have been accrued for in the Company’s consolidated financial statements, some of which are described in detail within this note. When these matters are ultimately concluded and determined, the Company believes that there will be no material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.
The Company has recorded a reserve of $306 and $410 as of December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, to address remaining subsurface remedial and wetlands/marsh management activities at the Company’s Martinez, CA site. Although currently a sulfuric acid regeneration plant, the site originally was operated by Mountain Copper Company (“Mococo”) as a copper smelter. Also, the site sold iron pyrite to various customers and allowed their customers to deposit waste iron pyrite cinder and slag on the site. The property is adjacent to Peyton Slough, where Mococo had a permitted discharge point from its process. In 1997, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (“RWQCB”) required characterization and remediation of Peyton Slough for Copper, Zinc and Acidic Soils. Various remediation activities were undertaken and completed, and the site has received final concurrence from the Army Corps with respect to the completed work. The RWQCB has agreed that Eco Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company (“Eco Services”), has achieved the goals for vegetative cover. The current marsh condition is being sustained by the opening and subsequent closing of the tide gates on a once per year basis. The Company is continuing to indicate to the RWQCB a plan to involve Contra Costa County and work towards development of an alliance for operating, maintaining and funding the tide gates is appropriate. The Company is currently in the process of obtaining permits for the long-term maintenance of Peyton Slough.
As of December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company has recorded a reserve of $102 and $306, respectively, for subsurface remediation and the Soil Vapor Extraction Project at the Company’s Dominguez, CA site. In the 1980s and 1990s, the EPA and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board conducted investigations of the site due to historic chlorinated pesticide and chlorinated solvent use. Soil and groundwater beneath the site were impacted by chlorinated solvents and associated breakdown products, petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated pesticides and metals. A Corrective Measures Plan approved in October 2011 requires (1) soil vapor extraction (“SVE”) in affected areas, (2) covering of unpaved areas containing pesticide impacted soil, and (3) annual groundwater monitoring of the perched water-bearing zone. Annual groundwater sampling and soil vapor monitoring indicates that the SVE system has been
effective in reducing subsurface contaminant levels. The Company is moving in the direction of rendering the SVE system dormant and potentially closing this matter within the next few years following rebound testing, including the preparation of an updated long-term Operations and Maintenance Plan as requested by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Letters of Credit
At December 31, 2022, the Company had outstanding letters of credit of $4,043. Letters of credit are guarantees of payment to third parties. The Company’s letters of credit are used primarily as collateral for various items, including environmental, energy and insurance payments. The letters of credit are supported by the Company’s ABL facility.