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U.S. EPA REGION 5
STARK COUNTY
UNIONTOWN

Congressional District # 16

INDUSTRIAL EXCESS LANDFILL

EPA ID# OHD000377911
Last Updated: September, 2011

Site Description

Prior to 1966, the 30-acre Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) site, located in Stark County, Ohio, was used for mining sand and gravel. In 1966, the mining and excavation pit was converted into a landfill, which operated until 1980. During this time, the IEL received industrial waste primarily from the rubber industries in Akron, Ohio. An estimated 780,000 tons of solid waste and 1,000,000 gallons of liquid waste were dumped onto the ground and into an evaporation lagoon constructed onsite. In 1972, the Stark County Board of Health ordered IEL to stop dumping chemical wastes. Besides industrial wastes, the landfill also accepted waste from hospitals, septic tank cleaning firms, and the general public. The landfill ceased operations in 1980, and was covered with soil. According to the 1990 Census, 27,121 people live within a three-mile radius of the site, including 3,912 children below the age of nine years.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed by responsible party actions, with oversight by U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater, on-site, continues to be contaminated with a few volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Data from recent groundwater surveys suggests the level of contamination is decreasing, both in terms of number of contaminants detected and in concentration.  There is no evidence to support the presence of a groundwater plume.  Methane concentrations in the landfill gas continues to dissipate, to the point where the existing methane venting system no longer needs to be operated. 

Most residents downgradient of the site have connected to an alternate water supply, thereby minimizing potential receptors of contaminated groundwater from the site.  Although historically there have been sporadic detections of metals outside of the landfill boundaries, tests of drinking water wells in 1998 revealed that such metal contaminants were significantly lower (i.e., one or two orders of magniture less) than federal drinking water standards. 

Cleanup Progress

Between 1985 and 1988, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) installed a methane gas venting system at the site to control the migration of methane and landfill gases offsite. During the installation of this system, 53 drums of suspected industrial waste were uncovered. These drums were removed and disposed of in an U.S. EPA-approved facility. Residential well sampling performed in 1987 showed that private wells were being impacted by groundwater contaminated by VOCs. U.S. EPA installed air strippers in the affected residences to remove the contaminants.

In 1987, U.S. EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) requiring that an alternate water supply be installed in an area containing 100 homes downgradient of the site where groundwater threatened to contaminate wells before an overall cleanup could eliminate the problem. Under order by U.S. EPA, several potentially responsible parties (PRPs) constructed the alternate water supply and it was completed in 1991. In July 1989, U.S. EPA signed a ROD selecting the following actions to clean up the site: covering the entire site with a multi-layer cap; expanding the landfill gas extraction and treatment system; extracting and treating contaminated groundwater; pumping groundwater to maintain the water table at a level that is below that of the wastes in the landfill; fencing the site; placing deed restriction of future use of the site, and continued monitoring of the site. In 1990, U.S. EPA purchased 22 parcels of land, consisting of twelve residences and two businesses. These properties, which bordered the site, were needed for proper installation of the landfill cap.

Based on the results of monitoring data gathered in March 1997 and September 1998, U.S. EPA public noticed a proposed plan to modify the cleanup plans outlined in the July 1989 ROD. The data indicated that significantly fewer contaminants were present in the groundwater and that the concentrations of those detected were generally lower. As a result, the proposed plan recommended that the pump and treat system be eliminated, and the landfill cover be redesigned. A public meeting was held on March 2, 1999 to discuss this proposed agency action. The ROD Amendment was signed on March 1, 2000.  An extensive responsiveness summary, addressing over 250 questions gathered during the public comment period, was prepared along with the ROD Amendment. 

In 2000, the PRPs conducted the following activities at IEL:  1) sample contents of remaining drums at the site and inside the remaining buildings; 2) check for presence of asbestos in the remaining buildings; 3) dispose all trash, debris, and debris-like wastes found inside the buildings and around the landfill; and 4) conduct geophysical surveys around the remaining buildings and adjacent areas to determine what underground structures are present thatrequire further investigation.  In June 2000, PRPs conducted demolition of three remaining buildings at the site, along with removal of eight underground storage tanks.  

In late October 2000, in response to a petition from stakeholders in the IEL area, U.S. EPA Ombudsman Robert Martin issued preliminary recommendations regarding radiation sampling at IEL.  The public were provided 60 days to comment on the report.  Region 5 prepared a factual review of the Ombudsman's report and responded to the recommendations in the report.  A final report from the Ombudsman was issued in September 2005, which found that US EPA had used appropriate sampling and analysis methods in looking for potential radioactive contamination at IEL and that it was unlikely that radioactive contamination was present.

In July 2000, U.S. EPA announced it would delay construction of the modified cap after receiving a petition from Lake Township officials that stated that additional testing was warranted before a decision on capping the site could be made. The PRPs conducted groundwater surveys in August and November of 2000, and in March, May, and September of 2001. As part of these surveys, limited radiation testing of the groundwater at all monitoring wells was performed. After reviewing the results of these five groundwater sampling efforts, and after considering an alternate proposal for addressing the site provided by the PRPs and supported by Lake Township officials, in April 2002 U.S. EPA announced another Proposed Plan calling for a change in the remedy for the IEL site. This plan includes the following components for IEL: 1) augmentation of the existing vegetative cover at IEL with selective planting of trees and other plants at the site; 2) natural attenuation of groundwater contaminants both offsite and onsite; 3) continued monitoring of groundwater and landfill gas; 4) perimeter fencing; 5) deed restrictions on the future use of the IEL property; 6) maintenance of the alternate water supply installed in 1991; and 7) additional design studies. Another extensive Responsiveness Summary was produced in response to the over 130 comments received on this new Proposed Plan. The second ROD Amendment documenting selection of the April 2002 proposed remedial action was signed on September 27, 2002.

A remedial design was completed for the IEL site in September 2003.  A public Technical Information Committee (TIC) meeting was held in Uniontown on September 11, 2003, to discuss the remedial design for the site and to solicit public comment.  Construction of the IEL final remedy began in Spring 2004.  By August 2004, all of the new groundwater monitoring wells were installed and unnecessary wells had been abandoned.  In addition, planting for the site vegetative cover was completed in May 2004.  Continued groundwater monitoring shows that VOC concentrations in groundwater continue to decrease and that only three contaminants now exceed their MCLs.  A five-year review for the IEL site was completed in September 2006. The five-year review concluded that the selected remedy remained protective of human health and the environment.  A third five year review was completed in May 2011.  It concluded that the remedy at the Site is protective of human health and the environment in the short term, and the long term protectiveness will be achieved when: proper maintenance of the perimeter frence and monitoring wells is conducted; the cleanup goals for the contaminated groundwater have been reached; and stewardship measures are put in place for the implemented institutional controls.

 

Community Involvement

Community interest in the landfill remains high.

Property Reuse

The resuse plan for the site includes construction of a walking path around the perimeter of the landfill fence.  Lake Township has recently expressed interest in commercial development of property adjacent to the landfill.  There is no current plan for reuse of the landfill property that would allow public access to the landfill itself.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
karen cibulskis (cibulskis.karen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1843

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
dave novak
(312) 886-7478

Aliases

INDUSTRIAL EXCESS LDFL

 

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.

 


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