In a meeting with Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler, we learned that Governor Kasich will not concur with EPA Region 5 proposing the Tremont City Barrel Fill to the National Priorities List (NPL). Instead, Dir. Butler has written a letter to US EPA Region 5, stating our community’s acceptance of modified plan 9a. This means the Barrel Fill will remain a Superfund Alternative Site.
The Clark County Commissioners, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Senator Bob Hackett, and Representatives Kyle Koehler and Bill Dean all sent letters of support to move forward with modified 9a.
The Clark County Combined Health District, Springfield Commissioners, German Township Trustees, and People for Safe Water all passed resolutions supporting modified 9a and, additionally, supporting Governor Kasich’s concurrence with EPA proposing the site to the NPL. These letters and resolutions were presented to Dir. Butler on August 16th, and they are available below:
Despite these strong statements of support, Director Butler stated unequivocally in the meeting that the State will not support the NPL listing, believing that we are assured of the same level of a protective cleanup without it. We know that the responsible corporations have expressed their willingness to negotiate the cleanup, and that they also prefer that the site not be on the NPL.
Without getting into all the pro’s and con’s of a NPL listing, we feel very strongly that without the NPL listing we will need to be even more vigilant in ensuring our community’s participation in the cleanup process.
The enforcement authority of the EPA is stronger with an NPL listing. If that authority becomes necessary at some point, the NPL listing process could proceed.
Our Project Manager, Jim Saric, has now received Ohio EPA’s acceptance of modified plan 9a. He will revise the Record of Decision, or ROD, by including a description of modifications to the previous ROD, issued 10/11. Once the revised ROD has been approved by the Region 5 Superfund Chief, the U.S. Department of Justice will begin negotiations with the responsible corporations to write the Consent Decree (CD). We can expect this process (revised ROD and Consent Decree) to take a year or more.
Once the Consent Decree is drafted, the community will have the opportunity to provide comments before it is finalized. We will make sure it includes the requirement that the responsible corporations will pay for a qualified community group to obtain the services of an independent technical advisor. This provision, known as the Technical Assistance Plan, or TAP, will also ensure information will be shared with the larger community.
Tremont City Barrel Fill will remain a Superfund Alternative Site, and the cleanup process will be negotiated through a Consent Decree.
We will continue to be an involved and vocal community in this next phase, seeking to ensure community involvement through the Technical Assistance Plan provision in the Consent Decree.
July 2017 — The People’s Task Force: Recommendations for the Future of Superfund
In response to the creation of a Superfund Task Force by new U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, People for Safe Water has signed on to The People’s Task Force. Sponsored by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a list of recommendations on the future of Superfund demands that public health, and not private interests or money, be the priority of Superfund. Read more below:
July 2017 — The Clark County Combined Health District and the Board of German Township Trustees passed resolutions in support of a modified clean-up plan 9a. Read them below:
On July 6th, 2017, People for Safe Water approved a resolution to agree to modified clean-up plan 9a.
We will be working with our local officials to advocate that the Tremont City Barrel Fill be placed on the National Priorities List. Instructions for calling Governor Kasich on our behalf will be coming very soon.
We will also be working to be heavily involved in the design phase of the clean-up as the clean-up process begins.
The Springfield City Commission and the Clark County Commission also voted unanimously on their own resolutions that describe support for a modified plan 9a.
Read People for Safe Water’s official resolution here:
May 2017 — A public meeting was held on Wednesday, May 3rd at the Springfield City Hall Forum. Several local leaders summarized the choices given to us by US EPA and emphasized that no matter what our preference is for the Barrel Fill site’s cleanup, Governor Kasich will decide whether to concur with EPA’s modified Plan 9a and whether to concur with proposing the site to be on the National Priorities List (NPL).
After questions and answers and passionate statements about protecting our water source, a strong majority of the approximately 50 people attending agreed that the best way forward at this time is to support modified Plan 9a and listing the site on the NPL.
German Township Trustees, in whose township the site is located, will hold a public information meeting for their residents in the near future, details to be announced. They will seek feedback from their constituents to determine their township’s position on accepting modified 9a.
Following their decision, Clark County leaders will notify Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler and Governor Kasich of our collective decision(s).
The public meeting was recorded on GATV, “Springfield 5”. Those who have cable TV can watch the meeting on Channel 5 over the next two weeks.
Read the meeting’s handout for details on these decisions here.
Check back often for further updates or additional action steps.
January 2017 — Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler and five other OPEA staff members meet in Springfield with local leaders, including People for Safe Water representatives to consider next steps with US EPA Region 5.
October 2016 — Tetra Tech memo recommends modifying Plan 9a to remove the worst of the worst, specifically permanently removing 997 barrels containing still bottoms from the Barrel Fill.
September 2016 — Read our final report of a mini-grant funded by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. We are incredibly grateful for their ongoing guidance and advocacy! Here are some highlights:
- We attended or participated in more than ten community events, sharing information and encouraging everyone to sign a letter or make phonecalls to the White House;
- We collected and mailed more than 575 letters to President Obama advocating for a complete clean-up;
- Our message reached upwards of 4,000 residents in the Miami Valley;
- And we raised $4,800 to continue media efforts to increase visibility, awareness, and engagement.
August 2016 — Thanks to our contributors, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., Bada Bing Pizzeria, Berner Screen Print, and Terry Van Auker, our Anniversary Party was a huge success!! Attendees were excited to write letters to the White House, purchase t-shirts, and talk with their friends and families about why this clean-up is critical for the future of our community.
June 2016 — In response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Evaluation of Supplemental Engineering Controls (see below), People for Safe Water sent a letter to Robert Kaplan, Acting Administrator for US EPA Region 5. The letter shares our numerous concerns for the clean-up plan for the Tremont City Barrel Fill.
The Army Corps of Engineers finished a “Final Evaluation of Supplemental Engineering Controls (ECs)” for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site on June 10th. Notably, the report recommends “the addition of a physically stabilizing agent to wastes in the newly engineered waste cell.” Unfortunately, stabilizing agents (like Portland cement, fly ash, or lime) are not considered effective for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), though the report suggests they may be reduced. No recommendations have been made to further remove untreated hazardous wastes from the site.
May 2016 — Jim Saric was named the new USEPA Project Manager for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site, replacing Jena Sleboda-Braun. Susan Pastor was named the new Community Involvement Coordinator, replacing Ginny Narsete.
February 2016 — People for Safe Water representatives exchanged letters with Mr. Craig Butler, Ohio EPA, and Mr. Robert Kaplan, US EPA. One highlight and request for clarification is in regard to Mr. Kaplan’s reference that the Army Corps of Engineers is now involved in remediation of the Tremont City Barrel Fill site.
December 2015 — People for Safe Water and citizens’ groups across the country are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the EPA Superfund program on Wednesday, December 9th.
This is not a full-hearted celebration, however, as Superfund has been severely hobbled by the removal of “Polluter Pay Fees”, a stable and reliable source of income with which to sustain clean-ups of close to 1,400 toxic waste sites in the U.S., including the Tremont City Barrel Fill, a Superfund Alternative Site.
Read more about the “Polluter Pay Fees” in an Executive Summary produced by the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice.
October 2015 — A press release from Senator Widener’s office was issued about a meeting held on October 26th with Ohio EPA and US EPA officials at US EPA Region 5 Headquarters.
September 2015 — Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler sent a letter to Joan Tanaka of the US EPA asking for clarification on changes being made to the clean up plan.
Thanks to all our efforts at August’s public meeting, Butler asks: “…what changes does the USEPA expect to make to the planned remediation activities at the Tremont Barrel Fill site or proposed NPL listing?”
August 2015 — We say a huge THANK YOU to everyone that promoted and attended the US EPA’s public meeting on August 27th!
It is hard to ignore almost 800 residents who say with one resounding voice: Dig It Up! Truck It Out!
View Senator Widener’s closing remarks at the August 27 US EPA meeting:
- Pick up a $5 yard sign on the evenings and weekends, 254 West Third St., Springfield 45504 in the foyer entrance
- Call your elected officials today and tell them we need their support for the safety of our drinking water for this generation and beyond!
- Senator Sherrod Brown: (614) 469-2083
Senator Rob Portman: (614) 469-6774
Congressman Warren Davidson: (937) 322-1120
May 2015 — A report compiled by Peter Townsend, resident hydrogeologist, describes the chemical contents of wastes in the Barrel Fill. This report gives insight into the hazardous contents of Tremont City barrels and advocates for the complete and permanent removal of all wastes.
March 2015 — A letter signed by twenty-nine local elected and appointed officials was sent to Gov. Kasich, urging his continued support for permanent removal of all hazardous wastes from the Tremont City Barrel Fill. Of note were the signatures of Mike McDorman, President of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Clark County Township Trustees Association president, showing growing local opposition to US EPA’s current plan to rebury hazardous wastes at the site.
Dig it up! Truck it out! Protect our water!
If you have not yet contacted your elected officials with your message to help protect your water supply, do so now!
Speak up to protect your water with this message:
“Thank you for your continued support for the permanent removal of all hazardous wastes from the Tremont City Barrel Fill. At stake is the economic future of our communities and the protection of our extraordinary water resources.”
To protect the purity of the water for the people and businesses of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio, by advocating for a safe and effective clean up of the Tremont Barrel Fill Superfund Alternative Site in northwestern Clark County. The Barrel Fill site contains 51,500 55-gallon drums of chemical waste in German Township, deposited there in the late 1970’s.
Our group began in April 2012, when citizens learned about the presence of the site in the northwest corner of Clark County. A long-standing local organization, CF Water, who had worked for a safe cleanup plan for the site, had decided to cease operations, leaving no organized citizens’ voice to advocate for a safer plan.
This video is a production of Springfield5, government-access television, and Award Productions.
The sole source aquifer for 82,000 people, primarily Clark County residents and businesses, is at risk of contamination from hazardous wastes buried at the Site. The 51,000+ barrels contain hazardous and industrial wastes that have been buried in unlined pits for more than 35 years. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) original plan (June 2010), which was acceptable to all affected parties, would have adequately addressed the site’s cleanup. We believe that US EPA’s adoption of the subsequent plan (June 2011) threatens the future quality of our water supply upon which the people and economy of the entire region depend.
The US EPA must modify its current Plan 9a to ensure protection of our sole source aquifer and its yield of high quality pure water for Clark County.
- Following legislative procedures and public processes, US EPA’s Region 5 Superfund Division issued a site clean-up plan known as Alternative 4a in June 2010. This plan was acceptable to all local and OH EPA officials.
- Subsequently, US EPA issued another plan, known as Alternative 9a, on June 22, 2011, as the final clean-up plan. This plan was unacceptable to all local and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) officials.
- The OEPA, Clark County Combined Health District, Clark County Commissioners, Springfield City Commissioners, New Carlisle City Commissioners, German Township Trustees, and our citizens group, People for Safe Water, all vigorously oppose Plan 9a because, if implemented, the hazardous waste remaining onsite at the Barrel Fill will so compromise the purity of the sole source aquifer for all of Clark County.
- Nine corporations are responsible for clean-up costs. They are known as the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). Eight of them sued the ninth corporation, Chemical Waste Management (CWM), who had challenged its status as one of the PRPs. A federal court ruled that CWM is a PRP and will be responsible for 55% of the cleanup costs.
People for Safe Water and Local Leaders are working toward a modified cleanup Plan 9a that will:
- Support landfill modifications recommended by the 2014 Tremont City Barrel Fill (TCBF) Working Group, specifically a double liner with leak detection and leachate collection to replace the proposed slurry wall.
- Support the June 2016 Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) report recommendation to add stabilization agents to wastes reconsolidated in the newly engineered waste cell.
- Permanently remove—or treat on site—those barrels containing high concentrations of the eleven volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are regulated by EPA’s Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). These VOCs are of greatest concern because they are highly mobile and toxic, and they represent the worst of the worst with respect to the long-term reliability of EPA’s landfill remedy.