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Congressional District # 08


EPA ID# OHD017506171
Last Updated: February, 2014

Site Description

The 4.5 acre Arcanum Iron and Metal (AIM) Superfund site is located just outside the village limits of Arcanum, in Twin Township, Darke County, Ohio.  The AIM site was operated as a lead battery reprocessing facility from the early 1960s until 1982.  During this time, battery casings were split to extract the lead cores for smelting and battery acid was allowed to drain into a low area on site.  Reprocessing of the plastic and black rubber battery casings generated lead oxide sludge that collected on the ground surface and some lead-contaminated materials were buried in on-site pits.

About 4,000 people live near the AIM site. Arcanum's water supply is furnished by wells located within one mile of the site, and private wells are also located nearby.

The state of Ohio investigated a fish kill in Sycamore Ditch and Painter Creek near the AIM site in 1964.  In 1979, the state entered into a consent decree (CD) with the site owner to clean up the site, but the results were unsatisfactory.  The owner ceased operations in 1982, having never fully complied with the provisions of the state CD.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the AIM site for listing on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites on December 30, 1982, and the site was placed on the NPL on September 8, 1983.

Site Responsibility

The Arcanum Iron and Metal site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil and debris at the Arcanum Iron and Metal site was contaminated with lead from reprocessed batteries.  People could be exposed to lead contamination through dermal contact with contaminated soil and debris, causing toxic health effects, including developmental delays in young children.

Analysis of site groundwater and nearby residential well samples indicated that there was no groundwater contamination at the site.

Cleanup Progress

The potentially responsible parties (PRPs) initiated a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the AIM site in the early 1980s.  The PRPs also constructed a fence around the entire facility in 1984 to reduce public access to the contaminated site areas. The RI was completed in August 1985 and the FS was completed in July 1986.

EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on September 26, 1986, selecting excavation and off-site disposal of on-site contaminated soils and battery casings; excavation and off-site disposal of off-site contaminated oils; demolition and/or cleaning of buildings; deed restrictions; and groundwater monitoring.  The conceptual design was completed in April 1988. The AIM Site Investigation Report was completed in August 1989. The Pilot Plant Report and the Economic Analysis Reports were completed in June 1992.

EPA signed a ROD Amendment on June 18, 1997, that revised the cleanup levels for lead-contaminated soils at the site.  As a result, the projected costs for cleaning up the site were revised downward from approximately $20 million to $6 million.

EPA began Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA) consent decree (CD)negotiations in August 1996 and concluded them in July 1998.  In fall 1998, a CD for RD/RA was lodged and entered with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, Dayton, Ohio. The RA was initiated and completed in the fall and winter of 1999.  The RA consisted of soil/debris consolidation, on-site treatment and off-site disposal of all contaminated soil/debris.  Excavated areas were backfilled with clean soil.  Results of three groundwater monitoring events indicated that no ground water contamination existed.

EPA deleted the AIM site from the NPL on August 31, 2001.  Because no additional work has been necessary since the RA was completed and no waste was left on site, EPA does not plan to conduct any five-year reviews at the site.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
gladys beard (beard.gladys@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7253





Site Profile Information

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


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