Tremont City Barrel Fill Timeline

1976 to 1980:

Active onsite burial and dumping.

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

1983:

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 at the site.

[RESA is 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 (RI) (2169 pages) is accepted by US EPA.

July 2008:

The Feasibility Study (FS) is submitted detailing 6 cleanup alternatives.

October 8, 2008:

The court finds that Waste Management is a PRP and orders it to participate with RESA. The court finds that Waste Management owns a 55% interest in costs of the cleanup.

November 25, 2008:

US EPA modifies and approves the Feasibility Study.

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 Alternative 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 new Alternative 7 to the Springfield/Clark county area at the CF Water Annual Meeting. Ohio EPA presents their issues and concerns with Alternative 7.

August 3, 2009:

US EPA Region 5 presents FS Alternative 7 to the NRRB. Ohio EPA presents problems with FS Alternative 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 Alternative 4a.  This plan was acceptable to all local and OH EPA officials.

June 10, 2010:

US EPA Region 5 releases FS Alternative 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 Alternative 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 Alternative 9, leading to FS Alternative 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 1, 2010:

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

December 9, 2010:

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

December 22, 2010:

Ohio EPA submits detailed comments to US EPA Region 5 on FSA 2 ARARs (ARARs = Applicable, or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements).

December 29, 2010:

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:

  • 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 9a would increase substantially if Alternative 9a complied with applicable hazardous waste requirements.

April 6, 2011:

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), 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:

Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman requests concurrence from Gov. Kasich for the TCBF to be submitted for consideration to be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL).

April 21, 2014:

Wittenberg University hosts a community forum with 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 Region 5, OEPA, Clark County leaders, and PfSW. 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 TCBF.

December 2014:

Selective well sampling is done at TCBF 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 Gov. Kasich, urging his continued support for permanent removal of all hazardous wastes from the Tremont City Barrel Fill.

May 1, 2015:

Region 5’s updated Community Involvement Plan is released, documenting continuing and unanimous opposition to reburying untreated hazardous wastes at the TCBF. 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:

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

August 27, 2015:

Region 5 officials host 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 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:

8.27 panoramic

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 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 citizSuperfundens’ 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 they 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 (see 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 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.

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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.

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 TCBF.

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 EPA Region 5.

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 sought feedback from their constituents to determine their township’s position on accepting modified 9a.

The public meeting was recorded on GATV, “Springfield 5”.

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. Read them below:

CCCHD Tremont City Resolution thumbnail
German Township Trustees Tremont City Resolution thumbnail

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.  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:

PfSW Resolution 7.7.17

August 2017:

USEPA:
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.

OUR COMMUNITY:
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.

People for Safe Water – Peter Townsend and Marilyn Welker
KL Update 12.6.17