Timeline of the Tremont City Barrel Fill

1976 to 1980:

Active onsite burial and dumping.

51,500 barrels received and buried; some crushed during burying; 300,000 gallons of un-containerized wastes also dumped into the 50 unlined pits.


Citizens group, CF Water, forms to address exposures of odors, runoffs, emissions, and evidence of highly toxic exposures in the vicinity of the Barrel Fill.

October 3, 2002:

US EPA Region 5 enters into a consent agreement with Responsible Environmental Solutions Alliance (RESA). RESA represents the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at the site that are currently operational. In the consent agreement RESA agrees to hire consulting companies to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) of the geology and hydrogeology at the site, and to prepare a Feasibility Study (FS) of applicable remedies (“clean-up plans”) at the site.

RESA includes the following corporations: Delphi Corporation; Franklin International Inc.; General Motors Corporation; International Paper Company; The Proctor and Gamble Company; PPG Industries; Strebor/Roberts; and Worthington Cylinder Corporation. Waste Management is invited to be a member of RESA but declines. RESA sues Waste Management to force its inclusion.

October 2006:

The Remedial Investigation Report, a geologic and hydrogeologic investigation of a contaminated site, (2,169 pages) is accepted by US EPA.

July 2008:

The Feasibility Study is submitted detailing 6 cleanup alternatives.

October 8, 2008:

A federal court finds that Waste Management is a PRP and orders it to participate with RESA. The court finds that Waste Management owns a majority interest in costs of the cleanup.

December 18, 2008:

The PRPs ask US EPA to withdraw their letter of approval for FS 1-6 and modification of FS 1-6. The PRPs submit a new Alternative FS #7.

March 26, 2009:

Ohio EPA informs US EPA that Ohio EPA cannot support the draft comments or selection of FS #7.

May 14, 2009:

US EPA Region 5 informs all parties that it will take the Barrel Fill remedy selection in front of the National Remedy Review Board (NRRB).

July 29, 2009:

US EPA Region 5 presents FS #7 to the Springfield/Clark County area at the CF Water Annual Meeting. Ohio EPA presents their issues and concerns with FS #7.

August 3, 2009:

US EPA Region 5 presents FS #7 to the NRRB. Ohio EPA presents problems with FS #7 and endorses any of the alternatives that remove the liquid and solid hazardous waste from the site.

August 27, 2009:

US EPA notifies Ohio EPA that they now support FS #4a.
This clean-up plan is acceptable to all local and OH EPA officials.

June 10, 2010:

US EPA Region 5 releases FS #4a for public comment at a meeting in Clark County.

July 12, 2010:

US EPA Region 5 extends the public comment period to 60 days based on a request from Waste Management.

August 11, 2010:

Waste Management submits two new FS Alternatives (#8 and #9) to US EPA Region 5 as public comments on the FS #4a.

September 21, 2010:

US EPA Region 5 responds to Waste Management, asking them to include the solid waste landfill from 4a in their FS #9, leading to FS #9a, the current (10/16/2012) proposed cleanup alternative.

October 11, 2010:

Waste Management presents US EPA with FS Alternative 9a.  This plan was unacceptable to all local and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) officials.

December, 2010:

US EPA Region 5 provides Ohio EPA with a new Feasibility Study, known as Feasibility Study Addendum 2 (FSA #2), in support of selecting FS #9a.

US EPA Region 5 solicits position papers from Ohio EPA and CF Water for the NRRB review of Alternative 9a.

Ohio EPA submits detailed comments to US EPA Region 5 on FSA #2’s “Applicable, or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements” (ARARs).

CF WATER submits objections to FSA #2 to US EPA Region 5 and requests that FS Alternative #4a remain the selected alternative.

January 7, 2011:

Ohio EPA submits detailed comments on remainder of FSA #2 to US EPA.

January 27, 2011:

US EPA presents FSA #2 to NRRB. Ohio EPA presents objections to FSA #2 following the outline of earlier comments to US EPA, emphasizing Alternative #9a’s lack of compliance with ARARs, inappropriate redefinition of principal threat waste, and a bias in the cost estimates underestimating the cost of 9a and inflating the cost of 4a.

February 1, 2011:

US EPA requests additional information from Ohio EPA regarding their arguments of bias in the cost estimates.

February 16, 2011:

Ohio EPA provides detailed cost analysis of 9a and 4a cost estimates.

Major issues in the Ohio EPA analysis (remembering that Plan #4a was previously acceptable until additional plan #9a was submitted by Waste Management, PRP):

  • The cost of 4a is inflated by as much as $14 million based on overestimation of the quantity of contaminated soil classified as hazardous waste. Ohio EPA states that RI data does not support classifying as much soil as hazardous.
  • The cost of 4a is inflated by including treatment of sludge wastes destined for offsite incineration. Ohio EPA states that no treatment of sludge wastes is needed prior to incineration.
  • The cost of Plan #9a would increase substantially if #9a complied with applicable hazardous waste requirements.

April 6, 2011:

US EPA Region 5 provides Ohio EPA, Clark County Combined Health District, and CF Water with the NRRB recommendations regarding #9a. The recommendations parallel the issues raised in Ohio EPA’s presentation to NRRB and the Ohio EPA position paper on #9a.

June 22, 2011:

US EPA presents Clark County with #9a as their preferred FS Alternative, which did not directly address the hazardous waste requirements identified by Ohio EPA. The cost estimates remained unchanged.

October 2011:

US EPA issues the Record of Decision (ROD) for Plan #9a, the “final” cleanup plan for the site, based on the Remedial Investigation of October 2006.

April 2012:

People for Safe Water (PfSW) organizes to reactivate citizens’ grassroots voices following CF Water’s disbandment.

June 2013:

US EPA takes surface water, soil and sediment samples in and around the site to evaluate the conditions of the site.

April 18, 2014:

US EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman requests concurrence from Ohio Governor Kasich for the Tremont City Barrel Fill to be submitted for consideration to be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL).

April 21, 2014:

Wittenberg University hosts a community forum with US EPA Region 5 leaders participating in a panel about the Tremont City Barrel Fill, organized by People for Safe Water.

June – August 2014:

Tremont Work Group meets, facilitated by Joseph McMahon, with representatives from US EPA Region 5, OEPA, Clark County leaders, and People for Safe Water. Recommendations to modify Plan #9a include a RCRA double liner with leak detection and leachate collection to replace the slurry wall and 1075 leak detection.

November 2014:

US EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Ginny Narsete spends several days in Clark County, interviewing leaders and citizens about the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

December 2014:

Selective well sampling is done at Tremont City Barrel Fill by Ohio EPA, per agreement from all involved in the Tremont Work Group.

February 27, 2015:

Ohio EPA hydrogeologist Jeff Martin sends Interoffice Memo with test results, opining that the well sampling results could now “facilitate concurrence among US EPA, Ohio EPA, the PRP group and People for Safe Water with regard to the remedy.”

March 4, 2015:

A letter signed by twenty-nine local elected and appointed officials, including Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike McDorman, was sent to Governor Kasich, urging his continued support for permanent removal of all hazardous wastes from the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

May 1, 2015:

US EPA Region 5’s updated Community Involvement Plan is released, documenting continuing and unanimous opposition to reburying untreated hazardous wastes at the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

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.

August 2, 2015:

US EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman sends a second letter to Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler, requesting Gov. Kasich’s concurrence for the Tremont City Barrel Fill to be submitted for the NPL.

August 27, 2015:

US EPA Region 5 officials participate in a public forum at Northwestern High School, attended by more than 700 people. “This is highest attendance I have ever seen at an EPA public meeting,” declared Superfund spokeswoman Joan Tanaka. All local leaders and citizens voice serious concern for our sole source aquifer, given Plan #9a’s reburying of untreated hazardous wastes at the site.
THANK YOU to everyone who promoted and attended the public meeting! It is hard to ignore almost 800 residents who say with one resounding voice:
Dig It Up! Truck It Out!

8.27 panoramic

Senator Widener’s closing remarks at the August 27 US EPA meeting:

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?”

October 2015:

Nine local leaders and Ohio EPA administrators travel to Chicago to meet with US EPA Region 5 staff. 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. Assistant Administrator Robert Kaplan orders Superfund staff persons to “review all options” for a resolution to Plan #9a.

December 2015:


People for Safe Water and citizens’ groups across the country celebrated the 35th anniversary of the EPA Superfund program on Wednesday, December 9th.

This was 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.


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.

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.

June 10, 2016:

Newly named Project Manager Jim Saric meets with local leaders to present the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) report, a “Final Evaluation of Supplemental Engineering Controls (ECs)” for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site. It recommended modifying Plan #9a by adding stabilization agents to wastes reconsolidated 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 VOCs may be reduced. No recommendations have been made to further remove untreated hazardous wastes from the site. Treatability studies will be needed to determine the most effective agent(s) and method(s) to use.

ACE Report Summary

In response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Evaluation of Supplemental Engineering Controls (above), 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.

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 wrote letters to the White House, purchased t-shirts to donate to People for Safe Water’s cause, and talked with many community leaders and residents about why this clean-up is critical for the future of our community.

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 phone calls 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.

October 28, 2016:

Tetra Tech recommends a modification to Plan #9a to remove the “worst of the worst.” Their memo recommends permanent removal of 997 barrels containing still bottoms from the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

November 21, 2016:

People for Safe Water sends a letter to Ohio EPA Director Butler, outlining acceptable modifications to Plan 9a. Critical to acceptance is permanent removal or treatment on site of any barrels containing high concentrations of the eleven VOCs which are regulated by EPA’s Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), with those VOCs which are the most mobile and most toxic.

January 23, 2017:

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler, DERR Chief Mike Proffitt and four other OEPA officials meet in Springfield with local leaders and citizens to discuss next steps with US EPA Region 5.

May 2017:

A public meeting was held on Wednesday, May 3rd at the Springfield City Hall Forum and recorded on GATV, “Springfield 5”. 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, sought additional feedback from their constituents to determine their township’s position on accepting modified #9a.

Read the meeting’s handout for details on these decisions here.

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.

On July 6th, 2017, People for Safe Water approved a resolution to agree to modified clean-up plan #9a. We worked with our local officials to advocate that the Tremont City Barrel Fill be placed on the National Priorities List.

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:

PfSW Resolution 7.7.17

In response to the creation of a Superfund Task Force by new U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, People for Safe Water 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.

August 2017:

Governor Kasich does not concur with EPA Region 5 proposing the Tremont City Barrel Fill to the National Priorities List (NPL). Instead, Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler writes a letter to US EPA Region 5, stating the Springfield/Clark County community’s acceptance of modified plan #9a. The Barrel Fill remains a Superfund Alternative Site.

November 2017:

On November 29th, People for Safe Water representatives participated in a morning meeting with Clark County leaders and US EPA staff Jim Saric, Project Manager, and Sue Pastor, Community Involvement Coordinator for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site. At an evening meeting, more questions and answers were shared.

Next steps for the site include developing the legal agreement between US EPA and the responsible corporations, known as the Consent Decree. Following that, a “pre-design investigation” will take place. Actual site clean-up is tentatively projected to begin Fall 2020.

When asked what would happen if more than 997 barrels are found to contain still bottoms or other highly toxic chemicals, Jim Saric replied that the contaminated barrels will stay on site. However, all liquids will be permanently removed from the site.

  1. Following the Explanation of Significant Differences, the Consent Decree will be negotiated between US EPA and the responsible corporations (PRPs). This was slated to conclude by December 2018. A thirty-day public comment period will follow the finalized Consent Decree.

When asked what our community can do to keep the Consent Decree negotiations moving forward, Jim Saric replied “I’ll think about that.”

  1. The next step, known as “Pre-Design Investigation,” then includes site sampling, further testing, and writing the Quality Assurance Plan, which will describe specific procedures for site clean-up. This is expected to take a year and a half, suggesting the actual site clean-up would begin in Fall 2020.

When asked whether groundwater and area wells immediately surrounding the site will be monitored during the cleanup, Jim Saric replied, “At this time that is not expected to be part of the design, but maybe we can explore that further.”

  1. Once clean-up begins, US EPA and Ohio EPA will provide oversight of the operations. Health Commissioner Charlie Patterson requested that at least one Health District staff member also be involved in oversight. Additionally, citizens have the possibly of hiring a person to provide technical assistance to better understand reports, data, test results, etc.

When asked who is responsible for long-term monitoring costs at the site and what will happen if the remedy is not protecting our water, Jim Saric replied, “The [responsible corporations] are required to have insurance for long-term financial assurance of the site’s protectiveness, and they would be required to pay for any needed remediation. The US EPA monitors the site every five years in perpetuity.”

February 12, 2018:

The Report “Explanation of Significant Differences”, which describes the changes to the Barrel Fill clean-up as agreed to by the community, is signed by Bob Kaplan of US EPA Region 5. The revised clean-up plan includes the addition of a second liner and leachate collection system, removal of the slurry wall, and removal of 997 barrels containing still bottoms.

July 29, 2018:

Jim Otte at WHIO TV in Dayton hosts half hour program about the Tremont City Barrel Fill because interest in a previous story about troubled sites had “been so high.”

August 16, 2018:

U.S. House of Representatives Warren Davidson sends letter to new US EPA Administrator Cathy Stepp, inquiring about the timetable for the Consent Decree to be finalized; no response received.

September 2018:

People for Safe Water co-chair Larry Ricketts talks to Jim Saric by phone; Jim tells him that the paperwork for the Consent Decree is still sitting on the desk of one of the EPA lawyers and has not yet been sent to the Department of Justice.

People for Safe Water members Mark Allen and Larry Ricketts meet with Springfield City Commissioners to update them on the Barrel Fill Consent Decree process.

October 16, 2018:

A Public Forum is held at Springfield City Hall with Jim Saric, attended by 40 local leaders and citizens.

March 18, 2019:

Jim Saric responds to People for Safe Water’s email inquiry w/ name of the lawyer at US DOJ who has been appointed to the site: Lila C. Jones; Jim adds in his email, “All I can tell you at this time is she is working on the consent decree. The project is a priority and moving forward.”

September 12, 2019:

People for Safe Water spokesperson Marilyn Welker sends an email to Jim Saric, inquiring about consent decree process and revised timeline.
Jim Saric responds with news that he is no longer the site’s Project Manager and that Jenny Davison/Polster is his replacement.
Jenny writes the following message: ” DOJ has completed its review of the proposed consent decree, and EPA is in the process of notifying PRPs of the initiation of RD/RA [remedial design/remedial actions] negotiations.”

October 2019:

At a meeting with local leaders, People for Safe Water is informed by new US EPA project manager Jenny Polster that they sent Special Notice Letters (SNL) to approximately 145 recipients that may have been historically affiliated with the Tremont Barrel Fill Site.

The Special Notice Letters starts the negotiation process between potentially responsible parties, DOJ and EPA. The Letters included a proposed consent decree (CD) and statement of work (SOW) based on model documents that EPA uses for remedial clean-ups at Superfund Sites.  The Special Notice Letters requested that, if a party was interested in negotiating with EPA, they provide a “good faith offer” by December 22, 2019. Typically, the negotiations continue for a period of time after the good faith offer.  While the negotiations period is difficult to predict, in 2019, EPA’s National Program office issued a memo establishing a goal to conclude RD/RA negotiations within 300 days of issuance of special notice; recognizing, however, that circumstances may sometimes require negotiations to continue past this goal.

April 2020:

People for Safe Water receives communication from Jenny Polster that they are “continuing to engage” with the Potentially Responsible Parties for the Tremont City Barrel Fill site.  A Notice of Lodging of a Consent Decree is not yet filed.

Lodging a consent decree is to file it (submit it) to a court, most likely the federal district court in Cincinnati. The consent decree is then public noticed in the federal register for public comment.  At the end of the public comment period the consent decree is modified, if necessary, based on the public comments or if ordered by the judge, and then approved by the judge at which point it takes effect.  The judge has jurisdiction over the consent decree for its duration, and is responsible for resolving any disputes between the parties to the decree that cannot be resolved using dispute resolution procedures in the decree.

December 2020:

Another inquiry is made from People for Safe Water to US EPA regarding the negotiations for the Consent Decree. No response.

January 2021:

Another inquiry is made from People for Safe Water to US EPA regarding the negotiations for the Consent Decree. No response.

July 2021:

Another inquiry is made from People for Safe Water to US EPA regarding the negotiations for the Consent Decree. The response received indicates that “IF” a consent decree is lodged with the courts, we will receive notification.

People for Safe Water leads a work session with the City Commissioners of Springfield, Ohio.

September 2021:

Springfield City Commissioners votes 3-0 to award a city trash hauling contract to Rumpke, taking it away from Waste Management, because of their connection to the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

December 2021:

People for Safe Water begins conversations to investigate the possibility of listing the Tremont City Barrel Fill on the National Priorities List. Governor DeWine would need to provide this recommendation.

February 2021:

People for Safe Water and Health Commissioner Charlie Patterson hold a work session with Springfield City Commissioners to discuss the lack of progress with the clean-up of the Tremont City Barrel Fill. ACTIONS TO COME.