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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# OHD076773712
Last Updated: February, 2012

Site Description

The approximately three-acre Pristine, Inc. Superfund Site is located in an industrial area in Reading, Ohio, and is a former liquid waste disposal facility that operated from 1974 to 1981.  Prior to this, the facility was used for the manufacturing of sulfuric acid.  The owners obtained a permit in 1977 to convert the facility to a hazardous waste incinerator.  Due to numerous permit violations, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) closed the Site in 1981. 

At the time of closure, over 10,000 drums and several hundred thousand gallons of bulk liquids and sludges containing acids, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-VOCs, and cyanide were staged on-site.  The city of Reading well field, which was about 400 feet northwest of the Site and provided drinking water for over 15,000 people, may have been affected by contamination from the Pristine site.  Reading closed its well field in March 1994 due to high levels of VOC contamination.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state oversight of potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Sediments and soils on-site were contaminated with pesticides, VOCs, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Shallow, on-site groundwater is contaminated with VOCs and semi-VOCs.  Deeper groundwater is contaminated with VOCs, most notably 1,2-dichloroethane.  In March 1994, the City of Reading closed its well field near the Site due to groundwater contamination.  Prior to the PRPs implementing the cleanup actions, the Site was a potential health threat to trespassers and workers due to the potential of direct contact with soils, wastes, and groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

In 1983, Pristine, Inc. removed most of the drummed material under an enforcement agreement with Ohio EPA called a Consent Order (CO) .  In 1984, PRPs removed some sludges and heavily contaminated soil from the Site under a CO with U.S. EPA.  U.S. EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study from 1984-1987.  A Remedial Investigation is a study into the nature and extent of site contamination.  A Feasibility Study is a study of the cleanup alternatives for the site. 

In 1987, U.S. EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD), documenting the site cleanup plan.  Site cleanup provided for demolition of all on-site structures, soil cleanup by on-site heating, and groundwater cleanup by pump and treat.  The PRPs agreed to implement U.S. EPA's selected cleanup actions pursuant to a Consent Decree signed in 1989.  U.S. EPA issued a March 1990 ROD Amendment that changed the soil treatment to incineration for pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs; and soil vapor extraction (SVE) for VOCs.  In July 1993, U.S. EPA further changed the soil treatment component of the remedy to low-temperature thermal desorption, which is an alternative type of thermal treatment. 

In May 1994, the PRPs completed low temperature thermal desorption treatment on approximately 13,000 tons of soil contaminated with pesticides, PAHs and VOCs.  In 1996, the PRPs completed construction of the SVE system, including a shallow groundwater drainage system and soil cap.  In October 1997, the PRPs began operation of the 150 gallon per minute source area groundwater treatment plant and the SVE system.  The SVE system is scheduled to operate for 10 years, and the 150 gpm groundwater pump and  treatment system will operate for at least 30 years. 

The PRPs started operation of the 300 gallon per minute groundwater pump and treatment system in October 1998.  This system is expected to operate for approximately 30 years.  The groundwater pump and treat system and SVE system have removed over 15,000 pounds of VOCs.  The VOC removal rates from soils and groundwater are decreasing gradually, and the groundwater pump and treat system has reduced the 1,2-dichloroethane plume over time.

U.S. EPA approved reduced groundwater pumping rates of 375 gallons per minute in March 2002 and 150 gallons per minute in March 2006.  U.S. EPA is working closely with Ohio EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the PRPs to monitor the effect of the reduced pumping rates to expeditiously achieve groundwater cleanup goals.

U.S. EPA issued the third Five-Year Review Report in September 2006.  The report showed that all immediate threats at the site have been addressed; there is no evidence of exposure to site-related contaminants; and the existing site and groundwater uses are consistent with the objectives in the remedy and deed notice.  Long-term protectiveness requires soil and groundwater cleanup goals to be achieved and ongoing verification that all institutional controls are being implemented.  U.S. EPA continues to work with Ohio EPA and the PRPs to implement institutional controls.

On August 19, 2009, an enforceable Environmental Covenant for the Site was recorded in the Hamilton County Recorder's Office.  This Environmental Covenant, signed by the Site owners and U.S. EPA, restricts use at the Site that would adversely affect the protectiveness of the remedial action. 

U.S. EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences in June 2011, which revised contaminant clean-up levels in accordance with current toxicologic practice, and deleted cleanup levels for contaminants that are no longer of concern at the site.  U.S. EPA also completed the fourth Five-Year Review in July 2011 and found that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie patterson (patterson.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4904

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
patricia krause
(312) 886-9506




Site Profile Information

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


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