Working to protect the water supply for Clark County and Southwest Ohio

Drums of waste waiting to be buried in 1978

May 2022: The Consent Decree has been signed!

This means that the official, legal document that describes all details of the clean-up of the Tremont City Barrel Fill are agreed upon with seven Responsible Parties:

Chemical Waste Management, Inc.
Franklin International, Inc.
International Paper Company
PPG Industries, Inc.
The Procter & Gamble Company
Strebor, Inc.
Worthington Cylinder Corporation

You can read more about the litigation from the Department of Justice here:

U.S. v. Chemical Waste Management, et al. | Department of Justice

In April 2022, the Springfield COmmunity hosted another public forum to add public pressure to progress on the clean-up of tremont city barrel fill. You can watch a live recording of the forum here:

The Tremont City Barrel Fill is an 8-acre site off Snyder-Domer Rd. in German Township, Clark County, northwest of Springfield. After four years of active disposal of hazardous and solid industrial wastes, it closed in 1980. Over those four years, 51,500 barrels of liquid and solid wastes, in addition to at least 300,000 gallons of uncontained wastes, were buried in unlined pits directly in the ground.

This is equivalent to approximately 2.8 MILLION gallons of chemical, industrial, and toxic wastes lying nearly 3 miles northwest of Springfield’s Well Fields and less than two miles from the Mad River.

One of the special hydro-geological attributes of our area is called a “buried aquifer” – an underground water source that is plentiful, self-replenishing, and clean. Since 1983, citizens and civic leaders have been working for the Tremont City Barrel Fill to be dealt with adequately in order to protect the Springfield Well Field and the buried aquifer which supplies water for most of Clark County’s residents and businesses.

A long-standing local organization, CF Water, who had worked for a safe cleanup plan for the site since the 1980s, decided to cease operations, leaving no organized citizens’ voice to advocate for a safe clean-up.

People for Safe Water began in April 2012, when more citizens learned about the site and plans began to finally take shape for the clean-up after nearly 40 years of advocacy.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) original plan, #4a, from June 2010, was, at the time, acceptable to all affected parties, and would have adequately addressed the site’s clean-up. We believe that US EPA’s adoption of the subsequent plan, #9a, submitted to the EPA by the corporation Waste Management, threatens the future quality of our water supply upon which the people and economy of the entire region depend. This plan does not entirely remove the wastes located there. After much discussion, and significant analysis of the issues with the newly proposed cleanup plan, the Springfield community finally had no option but to accept a modified Plan #9a.

Nine corporations are responsible for the cleanup costs because of their involvement or ownership in the Tremont City Barrel Fill site at some point. They are known as “Potentially Responsible Parties” (PRPs). They include (in no specific order) General Motors, PPG, Proctor & Gamble, and more. Eight of the corporations 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 the majority of the cleanup costs.

The Good News?
At this time, the City’s water tests show no leaching from the site of dangerous chemicals still deposited there.

The Bad News?
Given the length of time the barrels have been buried, and the site’s location upflow from the Springfield Well Field, more unnecessary delay in doing the cleanup is UNACCEPTABLE. The site is a ticking time bomb, and we DEMAND ACTION.