The Copley Square Plaza Superfund site is located at 2777 Copley Road in Copley Township, Summit County. The site is near Copley Road, a busy street in the township. Private homes and the Meadows of Copley units are located immediately to the east, south and southeast.
Investigations in 1994 showed that volatile organic compounds (chemicals that vaporize easily into the air) were contaminating ground water. Testing showed a former dry cleaning business was the likely source of ground water contamination since eight wastewater tanks stored in a back room were leaking chemicals into the ground water under the building. The main contaminant of concern was tetrachloroethene, commonly known as PERC.
In the mid-1990s, EPA oversaw:
- sampling at nearby homes
- removal of contaminated soil
- the installation of water treatment systems in homes with contaminated private wells
- the closing of the tanks
- the installation of a ground-water treatment system.
What is Tetrachloroethene?
Tetrachloroethene is a chemical that is commonly used in the dry cleaning industry. It can also be found in other products such as paint and spot removers, water repellents, brake and wood cleaners, glues and suede protectors.It is a nonflammable, colorless liquid at room temperature. It easily evaporates into the air.
Ground water can become contaminated if the chemical is improperly dumped or if it has leaked into the ground. People can be exposed if they drink contaminated water or breathe it in.
Other names for the chemical are PERC, tetrachloroethylene, and perchloroethylene.
What is Soil Gas?
Soil contains air which tends to move around and sometimes comes out of the soil. If soil, or the ground water flowing through the soil, is contaminated by chemicals, they can easily turn into gas and contaminate the air contained within the soil. Once it contaminates the air in the soil, the contamination can travel with the air and find its way into buildings through cracks in the foundation. A simple venting system is typically used to alleviate the problem.