August 6 public meetingWhat is happening now towards cleaning up the Barrel Fill?

June 2014 — US EPA has hired Joseph McMahon, (www.collaborativeprocesses.com) to facilitate a selected group of stakeholders to identify the technical and other issues on which discussion could be helpful. This is an information-sharing group, not a decision-making group.

The first meeting of this group, the Tremont Work Group (TWG), was held on June 2nd, 2014. Click here to see who is participating and Joe’s notes from the meeting.

Two primary issues were identified by the group: 1) the need to examine and compare the cost estimates for the current (Plan 9a) and previous (Plan 4a) plan, the latter being the community’s preferred plan. Click here to read the initial “Cost Issues” memo prepared by Ohio EPA’s staff, outlining key topics and questioning the proposed remedy’s efficacy.

Click here to read two draft memos prepared by an Ohio EPA staff hydrogeologist regarding hydrogeology issues at the Barrel Fill.

Check back often to stay current with TWG notes and upcoming meetings, to which citizens are welcome to attend and observe.


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Our Purpose:

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 Problem:

The sole source aquifer for 82,000 people, primarily Clark County citizens, is at risk of contamination by chemical poisons from the Site. Charles Patterson, Clark County Health Commissioner, reports that trace contaminants are already showing up in monitoring wells below the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) original plan (June 2010), acceptable to all pertinent parties, would have adequately addressed the site’s cleanup. US EPA’s adoption of subsequent plan (June 2011) threatens the water supply upon which the people and economy of the entire region depend.

Action needed:

The US EPA must return to the original plan. This plan will ensure the sole source aquifer’s continuing yield of high quality pure water for Clark County residents.

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  • 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’s key points of opposition to the
current cleanup plan:

  • Untreated and highly toxic hazardous wastes remain in the Barrel Fill site.
  • If implemented, contaminants remaining onsite at the Barrel Fill will migrate through the soil and contaminate the water on which Clark County depends.
  • It ignores unique geological features with serious consequences for the Springfield well field and the Mad River Aquifer.

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