Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Environmental Compliance Costs

Environmental Compliance Costs
12 Months Ended
Jan. 03, 2015
Environmental Remediation Obligations [Abstract]  
Environmental Compliance Costs
Environmental Compliance Costs
At January 3, 2015 and December 28, 2013, the Company had accrued $576,000 and $626,000, respectively, for remediation costs which, in management's best estimate, is sufficient to satisfy anticipated costs of known remediation requirements as outlined below. Expenditures related to costs currently accrued are not discounted to their present values and are expected to be made over the next three to four years. As a result of the evolving nature of the environmental regulations, the difficulty in estimating the extent and remedy of environmental contamination, and the availability and application of technology, the estimated costs for future environmental compliance and remediation are subject to uncertainties and it is not possible to predict the amount or timing of future costs of environmental matters which may subsequently be determined.
Prior to 1987, the Company utilized certain products at its chemical facilities that are currently classified as hazardous materials. Testing of the groundwater in the areas of the former wastewater treatment impoundments at these facilities disclosed the presence of certain contaminants. In addition, several solid waste management units ("SWMUs") at the plant sites have been identified. In 1998, the Company completed a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA") Facility Investigation at its Spartanburg, SC plant site, and based on the results, completed a Corrective Measures Study in 2000. A Corrective Measures Plan specifying remediation procedures to be performed was submitted in 2000 and the Company received regulatory approval. In prior years, remediation projects were completed to clean up all 14 SWMUs on the Spartanburg plant site at a cost of approximately $968,000. On October 2, 2009, the Company entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement and sold the Spartanburg facilities. As part of the Agreement, the purchaser agreed to assume any and all future unidentified environmental liabilities at the site and pay all future annual monitoring and reporting costs required by the RCRA permit covering the site. The Company has completed all of the RCRA-Permit required cleanup projects.
At the former Augusta, GA plant site, the Company submitted a Baseline Risk Assessment and Corrective Measures Plan for regulatory approval. A Closure and Post-Closure Care Plan was submitted and approved in 2001 for the closure of the surface impoundment (former regulated unit). The Company completed and certified closure of the surface impoundment during 2002. During 2005, the Company completed a preliminary analysis of remedial alternatives to eliminate direct contact with surface soils based on the Baseline Risk Assessment. In 2011, the Company identified a concentration of soil contamination. With the approval of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division ("EPD"), the affected soil was removed and the section of the property was backfilled with clean fill material plus selected chemicals to clean any impurities left behind. Based upon the soil remediation performed, the Company filed a Site-Wide Corrective Action Plan with the EPD in December 2011 to terminate the RCRA Permit. During 2014, the EPD closed the surface impoundment regulated unit since the Company met post-closure clean-up goals and the Company renewed the Corrective Action Permit, which includes a site-wide corrective action plan, long-term monitoring and institutional controls. The Company has accrued $501,000 and $551,000 at January 3, 2015 and December 28, 2013, respectively, for estimated future remedial and cleanup costs. As part of the Asset Purchase Agreement for the Spartanburg facility, the purchaser also agreed to pay for all future annual monitoring and reporting costs at the Augusta facility required by the EPD.
The Company has identified and evaluated two SWMUs at its plant in Bristol, Tennessee that revealed residual groundwater contamination. An Interim Corrective Measures Plan to address the final area of contamination identified was submitted for regulatory approval and was approved in March 2005. The Company had $75,000 accrued at January 3, 2015 and December 28, 2013, to provide for estimated future remedial and cleanup costs.
The Company has been designated, along with others, as a potentially responsible party under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or comparable state statutes, at two waste disposal sites. Notifications for these two sites were received by the Company in November 2007 and February 2008. The site represented by the November 2007 notification was settled during 2013. The Company was not named in the final settlement and was not required to make any payments. It is impossible to determine the ultimate costs related to the remaining site due to several factors such as the unknown possible magnitude of possible contamination, the unknown timing and extent of the corrective actions which may be required, and the determination of the Company's liability in proportion to the other parties. At the present time, the Company does not have sufficient information to form an opinion as to whether it has any liability, or the amount of such liability, if any. However, it is reasonably possible that some liability exists.
The Company was also named as one of many potentially responsible parties in a Superfund Site brought by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Notification for this site was received on September 13, 2010. The Company qualified for a special de minimis party settlement at this site and upon payment of approximately $2,000 in 2013, was released from further consideration.
The Company does not anticipate any insurance recoveries to offset the environmental remediation costs it has incurred. Due to the uncertainty regarding court and regulatory decisions, and possible future legislation or rulings regarding the environment, many insurers will not cover environmental impairment risks, particularly in the chemical industry. Hence, the Company has been unable to obtain this coverage at an affordable price.