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Congressional District # 18


EPA ID# OHD057243610
Last Updated: June, 2015

Site Description

The 4.8-acre Alsco Anaconda (Alsco) Superfund site is located near the Tuscarawas River in the village of Gnadenhutten, about 50 miles south of Akron, Ohio.  From 1965 to 1978, Alsco used the site for the disposal of wastewater and wastewater treatment sludges that were generated during the production of aluminum products.  Alsco discharged the wastewater to the river but the sludge was disposed of into two unlined lagoons and a sludge pit.  Overflow from the lagoons spilled into a low-lying, wooded area near the river.  From 1971 to 1978, Alsco disposed of approximately 18,000 drums of waste (about 4,800 tons).  Studies showed that the lagoons and sludge pit contained contaminants such as cyanide, chromium, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and zinc.  After 1978, sludge was disposed of in an off-site facility.  The property is now owned by the Atlantic Richfield Company.

Approximately 3,100 people live within three miles of the site and obtain their drinking water supplies from local groundwater aquifers.  Because contaminated groundwater generally flows from the site towards the Tuscarawas River and away from the drinking water supply wells, no one is drinking the contaminated water.

Site Responsibility

The Alsco Anaconda site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

The Alsco Anaconda site was broken up into two portions (termed "operable units"): 1) the Source Material Operable Unit (SMOU), which covered the contaminated sludge, soil, and soil/waste mixtures; and 2) the Groundwater Operable Unit (GWOU).  Contaminants of concern (COCs) at the SMOU included cyanide, heavy metals, and PCBs.  For the GWOU, COCs included metals, chlorinated benzene compounds, semi-volatile organics, and cyanide.

Exposure to these COCs could occur through dermal contact with contaminated soil and sludge or by drinking contaminated groundwater.   Exposures over time could cause carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and noncarcinogenic health effects.  However, the SMOU cleanup action was completed in 1995, which reduced the concentrations of COCs to background levels.  In addition, contaminated groundwater flows from the site towards the Tuscarawas River, which is downgradient from nearby drinking water wells.   Thus, no one is being exposed to groundwater contamination.   Cleanup levels for COCs have been met in groundwater. 

Cleanup Progress

The Alsco Anaconda site was divided into two cleanup projects, the Source Material Operable Unit (SMOU), which covered the contaminated sludge, soil, and soil/waste mixtures, and 2) the Groundwater Operable Unit (GWOU).  U.S. EPA selected a cleanup remedy and issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for each project on September 8, 1989, and September 28, 1992, respectively.  The source material cleanup remedy included the excavation and offsite treatment of the sludge and soil at the site and the groundwater cleanup included the installation and periodic sampling of groundwater monitoring wells at the site.

After selecting cleanup remedies for the site, U.S. EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to the PRPs to conduct the selected cleanup actions.  The UAO for the source material project was issued on December 28, 1989.  The PRPs completed the cleanup in September 1995, and a preliminary close out report (PCOR) was issued July 30, 1996.

The UAO for the groundwater project was issued June 23, 1993.  Construction activities for the groundwater cleanup (installing new groundwater monitoring wells) were then completed.  Groundwater monitoring was conducted on a quarterly basis for the initial two-year period and semi-annually thereafter until the risk-based cleanup standards were met.  A PCOR for this site was signed on July 5, 2001.

U.S. EPA conducted a five-year review (FYR) of the Alsco site on June 23, 1997.  The FYR report recommended continual monitoring of groundwater quality and that data be reviewed in 10 years (2007).  Presently, all COCs, with the exception of cyanide, have met the cleanup goals described in the Groundwater Operable Unit ROD.  

The Alsco site was deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) in November 2001 with a clean closure.  No further site FYRs have been conducted (effective 2014).

Property Reuse

There is interest in putting the site into reuse with a portion being converted into a wildlife observation area.


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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