Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 08


EPA ID# OHD017506171
Last Updated: May, 2012

Site Description

The 4.5 acre Arcanum Iron and Metal (AIM) Superfund site is located just outside the village limits of Arcanum, in Twin Township, Darke County, Ohio.  The AIM site was operated as a lead battery reprocessing facility from the early 1960s until 1982.  During this time, battery casings were split to extract the lead cores for smelting and battery acid were allowed to drain into a low area on site.  Reprocessing of the plastic and black rubber battery casings generated lead oxide sludge that collected on the ground surface and some of the lead-contaminated materials were buried in on-site pits.

The state of Ohio investigated a fish kill in Sycamore Ditch and Painter Creek near the AIM site in 1964.  In 1979, the state entered into a consent decree (CD) with the site owner to clean up the site, but the results were unsatisfactory.  The owner ceased operation in 1982, having never fully complied with the provisions of the state CD.

U.S. EPA proposed the AIM site for listing on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites on December 30, 1982, and the site was made final on the NPL on September 8, 1983.

About 4,000 people live near the AIM site.  Arcanum's water supply is furnished by wells located within one mile of the site, and private wells are also located nearby.

Site Responsibility

The Arcanum Iron and Metal site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil and debris at the Arcanum Iron and Metal site was contaminated with lead from reprocessed batteries.  People could be exposed to lead contamination through dermal contact with contaminated soil and debris, causing toxic health effects, including developmental delays in young children.

Analysis of site groundwater and nearby residential well samples indicated that there was no groundwater contamination at the site.

Cleanup Progress

To reduce public access to the contaminated site areas, a fence was constructed around the entire facility by the potentially responsible parties in 1984. The Remedial Investigation Report was completed on August 9, 1985. The Feasibility Study (FS) Report was completed on July 15, 1986.

The Record of Decision (ROD) was signed on September 26, 1986, selecting excavation and offsite disposal of onsite contaminated soils and battery casings; excavation and offsite disposal of offsite contaminated oils; demolition and/or cleaning of buildings; deed restrictions; and groundwater monitoring. The conceptual design was completed in April 1988. The AIM Site Investigation Report was completed in August, 1989. The Pilot Plant Report and the Economic Analysis Reports were completed in June 1992.  A ROD Amendment was signed on June 18, 1997, that revised the cleanup levels for lead-contaminated soils at the AIM site. As a result, the projected costs for cleaning up the site were revised downward from approximately $20 million to $6 million.

U.S. EPA began Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA) negotiations on August 1, 1996, and concluded on July 15, 1998. In the fall 1998, a CD for RD/RA was lodged and entered with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, Dayton, Ohio, for the site. The RA was initiated and completed in the fall and winter of 1999.  The RA consisted of soil/debris consolidation, onsite treatment and offsite disposal of all contaminated soil/debris.  Excavated areas were backfilled with clean soil.  Three groundwater monitoring events indicate that no ground water contamination exists. 

The site was delisted from the NPL on August 31, 2001.  No additional work has been necessary since the 2001 deletion.  Five year reviews are not required at this site.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
david linnear (linnear.david@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1841





Site Profile Information

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


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.