Friday, September 05, 2008

Troy Ohio added to SuperFund Priorties List

The East Troy Contaminated Aquifer site in Troy, Ohio, to the Superfund National Priorities List. Three other sites - the Behr Dayton Thermal System VOC Plume site in Dayton, the New Carlisle Landfill in New Carlisle, Ohio, and the U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery in East Chicago, Ind. - were proposed for addition to the priorities list. Sites on the list are eligible for additional study and resources under EPA's Superfund program.

Nationally, six new sites were added to the NPL, bringing the total to 1,258, and 11 sites were proposed for addition to the list. Under the NPL process, sites are first proposed and public comments considered before a determination is made to formally add a site to the list. The NPL is updated twice each year.

The East Troy site is an area where volatile organic compounds, including the common industrial chemicals PCE and TCE, have contaminated ground water, soil and the indoor air in basements. EPA addressed the indoor air health risk by installing vapor abatement systems in 16 homes and St. Patrick Elementary School in the summer of 2007. EPA and Ohio EPA data also shows that VOCs have contaminated ground water below the city of Troy, as well as a local drinking water well field. To address this, Ohio EPA and Troy have taken steps to contain one potential source of the
contamination, and are treating contaminated ground water prior to use. Adding the site to the NPL enables EPA to study site conditions further, identify possible sources of the contamination, and develop a comprehensive strategy to address all locations and sources of the VOC contamination.

The proposed Behr Dayton site also involves TCE contamination in ground water. In 2003 and 2006, volatile organic compounds were detected in ground water beneath the Behr Dayton Thermal System auto parts manufacturing facility at 1600 Webster St. To address potential health risks associated with the pollution, EPA has installed vapor mitigation systems in 180 homes in the neighborhood south of the plant since late 2006. EPA will soon announce an October open house session to discuss the project.

The New Carlisle Landfill, at 715 N. Dayton-Lakeview Road in New Carlisle, operated from the mid-1950s until the early 1970s. It is now covered with two to four feet of clay, but was not designed with a protective liner in the manner of modern landfills. Ohio EPA data indicates that water from two public wells and two residential wells in the nearby area contain vinyl chloride above the safe drinking water level. In 2005, EPA extended the water line from the New Carlisle public water system to two homes and a plant nursery business. EPA remains concerned about potential migration of the vinyl chloride toward residential wells within one-half mile of the site.

The U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery site, 5300 Kennedy Ave., East Chicago, Ind., was also proposed for addition to the NPL today. The company operated from 1920 to 1985. Lead, most likely dispersed from long-removed smokestacks, has been detected in residential soil north of the property. The company also discharged process water to wetlands on the property that flow toward the Grand Calumet River Corridor. In July 2008, EPA began removing lead-contaminated soil from 15 nearby homes. Adding the site to the NPL will enable EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to complete a comprehensive approach to address the contamination.

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