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EPA Announces Legal Agreement for Pollution Investigation

Newspaper advertisement - October 2007

Administrative Order on Consent

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has announced a legal agreement called an "administrative order on consent" or AOC (Administrative Order on Consent (AOC), September 2007 (PDF) (35pp, 1.5MB, About PDF)) with six companies involved in the Brandt Pike Oil Pipeline and Distribution Facilities in Dayton, Ohio. The AOC orders respondent parties

to investigate pollution that may be threatening Dayton's drinking water supplies and a residential area.

The AOC is issued under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act known as RCRA and the Clean Water Act.

The consent order requires the respondents to conduct an investigation of oil, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and benzene contamination in the underground water supplies (ground water in environmental terms) within an area north and downhill of the Brandt Pike distribution facilities.

The AOC requires the parties to perform the field investigation, data collection and analysis and also calls for the companies to investigate the possibility of vapor intrusion downhill from the facilities. Vapor intrusion can occur when contaminants in ground water give off fumes that seep up through the ground and into the foundations of homes and buildings. Monitoring wells set up by the city in 2006 near the Brandt facilities indicate the contaminated ground water may be moving north toward a residential neighborhood, the city's drinking water well field and the Miami River. MTBE and benzene have not been detected by the city in drinking water supplies.

The administrative order on consent provides penalties for failure to perform the investigation.

EPA will oversee and continuously review the investigation with input from its state and local partners Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Dayton.

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Public Comment Period

For 30 days following the publication of this notice, EPA will receive written comments on the AOC. EPA will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the legal agreement if comments disclose facts or considerations that indicate the agreement is inappropriate, improper or inadequate.

Comments should reference the Brandt Pike Oil Pipeline and Distribution Facilities, Docket No. R57003-05-07-002 and should be addressed to

Randa Bishlawi,
Associate Regional Counsel (mail code C-14J),
77 W. Jackson Blvd.,
Chicago, IL 60604.

Further information about the situation can also be obtained by accessing the EPA Web site www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/rcra/brandtpike/ or by contacting Randa Bishlawi at 800-621-8431, Ext. 60510.

The Agency's responses to any comments received will be available for public inspection at the EPA Region 5 offices, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill. Under RCRA, commentators may also request a public meeting be held by contacting Randa Bishlawi. The AOC and additional background information relating to the settlement are also available for review on the seventh floor Records Center at EPA Region 5's Chicago office. A copy of the settlement may also be obtained from the Records Center.

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Background Information

The respondent companies own or operate four active petroleum products distribution facilities and an oil pipeline at the Brandt Pike operation. Each of the four distribution facilities receives its petroleum products via the Inland Pipeline. Oil containing benzene, MTBE and other additives has been released from the Brandt Pike facilities or the pipeline into the soil and ground water. The respondent companies have been investigating on-site subsurface contamination and are conducting ongoing oil recovery from the on-site ground water. Beneath the Brandt Pike Oil Pipeline and facilities lies an aquifer that provides the sole source of drinking water for the city of Dayton. Areas of the Brandt Pike operation are within Dayton's well field protection area. Sampling from the monitoring wells detected levels of MTBE in excess of 85 parts per billion (abbreviated ppb) and benzene in excess of 164 ppb. Dayton also recently reported that MTBE was detected this April in a monitoring well in the well field at a level of .28 ppb. The investigation is intended to generate information and analyses so EPA can determine what additional measures may be necessary to prevent or reduce the impact of the pollution on the city well field and the river. EPA's drinking water advisory sets a level of 20 to 40 ppb of MTBE for taste and odor. There is no federal or Ohio maximum contaminant level (MCL) for MTBE in drinking water. The federal and state MCL for benzene in drinking water is 5 ppb.

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