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Congressional District # 18


EPA ID# OHD980610042
Last Updated: February, 2014

Site Description

The 3.66-acre Reilly Tar and Chemical Company (Reilly Tar) Superfund site is located on Third Street, southeast of the junction of State Route 211 and State Route 39, in Dover, Ohio.  The site is about three-quarters of a mile north of the junction of Sugar Creek and the Tuscarawas River.  Current land use adjacent to the property is mainly commercial and residential north of the site toward the Dover downtown area, and industrial to the west and southwest.  Public power and sewage facilities are located immediately east of the site, and an open and undeveloped industrially-zoned area south of the site is currently used for fill and borrow disposal.

The Reilly Tar site operated from 1932 to 1956 as a coal tar refinery.  During that time, coal tar wastes accumulated on the ground from spillage and other site activities.  The site is bordered on the northeast by an abandoned canal turning basin, which functions today as a drainage ditch directing storm water runoff from the city of Dover into the Tuscarawas River.  

The site is currently inactive, is fenced, and is located on the sand and gravel deposits of the Tuscarawas River basin.  The aquifer in the deposits is the sole source of drinking water for approximately 28,700 people served by the municipal water systems of Dover and New Philadelphia.  An additional 4,000 people obtain drinking water from private wells within three miles of the site.

Site Responsibility

The Reilly Tar site in Dover, Ohio, is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under federal and state oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater and soil are contaminated with petrochemicals from coal tar wastes.  Potential health threats include ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soil.  Potential contact with hazardous substances is limited, however, because the site is fenced and contaminated groundwater is not used for drinking or other purposes.

Cleanup Progress

EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to Reilly Industries (Reilly) in March 1989 that required Reilly to conduct an expedited response action to address surficial coal tar materials aat the site.  Reilly removed 1,442 tons of coal tar and asphalt materials from the site from June to July 1990 in accrodance with the UAO. 

EPA signed a Record of Decision in March 1997 and selected the following remedial response actions for the site: institutional controls (ICs); excavation and off-site thermal treatment of drainage ditch and river sediment, surface soil, and contaminated material from installation of a groundwater collection trench; off-site disposal of solidified tarry materials; excavation and on-site disposal of surface water drainage ditch and river sediment and surface soil; construction of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D cap over on-site disposed materials; construction of a soil cover over the remainder of the site; hydraulic control and collection of perched groundwater; natural attenuation and long-term monitoring of shallow groundwater; and continued sampling and analysis of river sediments to monitor long term ecological effects. 

Reilly completed construction of the remedy in September 2000.  Tarry material and construction debris was transported off-site and reclaimed.  Approximately 4,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil was thermally treated and disposed of at the Lafarge Corporation facility in Buffalo, Iowa.  Approximately 2,350 cubic yards of lesser contaminated waste was transported to and disposed of at the Limball Landfill in Dover, Ohio.  A 400-foot groundwater recovery trench was installed to capture, treat and dispose of contaminated groundwater from the perched aquifer.  Treated groundwater is piped to the Dover Publicly Owned Treatment Works.  After removal of the contaminated soil and installation of the recovery trench, 20,700 tons of common borrow fill was brought to the site for grading.  A flexible membrane liner and Subtitle D cap was installed over the old building foundation.  The site was reseeded and fenced. Long-term monitoring of the groundwater continues.

EPA conducted the first five-year review (FYR) at the Reilly Tar site in 2005.  Upon review, EPA concluded that the site is protective of human health and the environment in the short term, but additional information is needed to determine long-term protectiveness.  Also in 2005 and 2006, additional sediment samples were collected from the Tuscarawas River for chemical analysis. The results of the analysis indicated that further work was necessary to determine if sediments and surface water in the river pose a risk to aquatic organisms such as fish and the animals that live in and on the sediments.  The additional work will be performed as part of a baseline ecological risk assessment to determine if site-related contamination in the river pose risks to aquatic organisms.

In May 2010, EPA completed the second FYR at the site.  EPA again found that the remedy at the site was protective in the short term because there were no unacceptable levels of human or ecological exposure to site contaminants, but the remedy would not be protective in the long term until site cleanup goals are met. 

Since the second FYR was completed, an analysis of groundwater data has demonstrated that one of the remedial action objectives for the site, hydraulic control of the perched aquifer, is not being achieved by the remedy.  EPA has requested that the PRP revise the remedial design work plan to address this issue.  Currently, a revised long-term monitoring plan is being developed that will include installation and monitoring of additional groundwater wells to determine if the remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the long-term.

EPA also notes that tar removal rates have increased since 2012 and additional sampling and monitoring is now taking place to determine the overall effect on the perched aquifer and groundwater plume.

EPA plans to complete the third FYR at the Reilly Tar site in 2015.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
john fagiolo (fagiolo.john@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0800

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359




Site Profile Information

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


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