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Congressional District # 13


EPA ID# OH0000563122
Last Updated: May, 2012

Site Description

The Copley Square Plaza Superfund site is located in Copley Township, Summit County, Ohio. The site first came to the attention of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) when there were complaints of an odor in water from wells serving two businesses in the Copley Square Shopping Center - a dry cleaners and a grocery store.

Ohio EPA found that the groundwater contained volatile organic compounds (named that way because they vaporize easily into the air) at levels higher than what Ohio EPA considers safe. Investigations at the dry cleaners revealed that chemicals used for dry cleaning, the same volatile organic compounds as in the groundwater, were being disposed/stored in eight wastewater tanks in the back room of the dry cleaner. Testing showed that the eight wastewater tanks were leaking the volatile organic compounds into the groundwater under the building.

After four years of extensive testing in the 1990s, Ohio EPA asked for assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect local residents from the contaminated groundwater and to remove the source, the eight wastewater tanks in the dry cleaner. 

EPA conducted extensive testing of nearby homes, installed water treatment systems in nearby homes that had contaminated wells, closed eight wastewater tanks at the dry cleaners and installed a system to treat the ground water. After the in-home treatment systems were in place and tested to ensure their effectiveness at removing the volatile organic compounds, EPA turned over the maintanence of the in-home treatment systems to Ohio EPA. Ohio EPA continues to maintain the systems.  

In 2000 EPA reviewed the situation at the site, as requested by Ohio EPA, and found the ground water was still contaminated, and there had been no improvement since the mid-1990s. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2005. 

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil and groundwater were contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE or PERC), a volatile organic compound, and its derivatives including trichloroethylene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (trans-DCE), and vinyl chloride (VC). Eight homes were provided with water treatment systems in the mid-1990s to address contaminated wells. Ohio EPA has been maintaining the systems since their installation. 

Cleanup Progress

A passive ground water collection system was installed to collect ground water leaving the eastern side of the dry cleaner and water treatment systems were installed in homes with contaminated wells during the mid-1990s. Ohio EPA has been maintaining the water treatment systems since their installation.

EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) between 2006 and 2009. Site soil, both under and east of the former dry cleaners, remains contaminated with PCE and its breakdown compounds. Shallow groundwater is also contaminated, though contamination extends east into the undeveloped area between the former dry cleaners and the townhome development. Deep groundwater contamination extends approximately one-quarter mile southeast of the former dry cleaner. EPA also conducted indoor air sampling, which revealed PCE and its breakdown compounds in a number of single family homes and townhomes.

In October 2009, EPA issued a Record of Decision that outlined EPA's final decision for addressing the contamination and risks at the site due to soils and shallow groundwater. The remedy includes a combination of connecting affected residences to public water, installing vapor intrusion mitigation systems in affected residences, and soil and shallow groundwater treatment. 

In January and February of 2011, EPA collected vapor samples to determine which residences require vapor mitigation systems in their basements. From April through June 2011, EPA collected tap water samples to determine which residences require connection to public water. EPA has finalized the designs for the public water connection and vapor intrustion mitigation systems. EPA will soon determine the best method of injection to address the shallow groundwater and soils near the former dry cleaners.

Additional investigative work for deep groundwater began in April 2011. EPA installed new intermediate and deep monitoring wells in February-May 2012, and will collect quarterly samples until the end of 2013.  EPA will use that data to issue a second Record of Decision to address the intermediate and deep groundwater.

Community Involvement

EPA held a public meeting on its proposed cleanup plan on July 22, 2009, and received numerous comments on the Proposed Plan.

EPA went door-to-door in 2011 during the early portion of the vapor and tap water sampling events and was able to assist with the collection of samples.

In preparation for installation of vapor intrusion mitigation systems, EPA did a walk-through residents' basements in April 2012. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
margaret gielniewski (gielniewski.margaret@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6244





Site Profile Information

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


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