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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# OHD076773712
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The approximately 3-acre Pristine, Inc. (Pristine) Superfund site is located in an industrial area of Reading, Ohio. Pristine is a former liquid waste disposal facility that operated from 1974 to 1981. Prior to this, the facility was used to manufacture sulfuric acid. The owners obtained a permit in 1977 to convert the facility to a hazardous waste incinerator, but due to numerous permit violations, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) closed the site in 1981. 

At the time of closure, over 10,000 drums and several hundred thousand gallons of bulk liquids and sludges containing acids, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-VOCs, and cyanide were staged on-site. The city's municipal well field that was about 400 feet northwest of the site and provided drinking water for over 15,000 people, may have been affected by contamination from the Pristine site. Reading closed its well field in March 1994 due to high levels of VOC contamination.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the Pristine site on the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1983.

Site Responsibility

The Pristine site is being addressed through federal and state oversight of potentially responsible parties' (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

On-site sediment and soil were contaminated with pesticides, VOCs, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Shallow on-site groundwater is contaminated with VOCs and semi-VOCs. Deeper groundwater is contaminated with VOCs, most notably 1,2-dichloroethane. In March 1994, Reading closed its well field near the site due to groundwater contamination.

Prior to the PRPs implementing the cleanup actions (see next section), the site was a potential health threat to trespassers and workers due to the potential for direct contact with contaminants in soils, wastes, and groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

In 1983, Pristine, Inc. removed most of the drummed material under an enforcement agreement with Ohio EPA called a Consent Order (CO). In 1984, PRPs removed some sludges and heavily contaminated soil from the site under a CO with EPA.

EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study at the Pristine site from 1984-1987 and in 1987, EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD), documenting the site cleanup plan. Site cleanup provided for demolition of all on-site structures, soil cleanup by on-site heating, and groundwater cleanup by pump and treat. The PRPs agreed to implement EPA's selected cleanup actions pursuant to a Consent Decree signed in 1989. EPA issued a March 1990 ROD Amendment that changed the soil treatment to incineration for pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs; and soil vapor extraction (SVE) for VOCs. In July 1993, EPA further changed the soil treatment component of the remedy to low-temperature thermal desorption, which is an alternative type of thermal treatment.

In May 1994, the PRPs completed low temperature thermal desorption treatment on approximately 13,000 tons of soil contaminated with pesticides, PAHs and VOCs. In 1996, the PRPs completed construction of the SVE system, including a shallow groundwater drainage system and soil cap. In October 1997, the PRPs began operation of a 150 gallon-per-minute source area groundwater treatment plant and the SVE system. The SVE system was scheduled to operate for 10 years, and the 150 gpm groundwater pump-and-treat system will operate for at least 30 years.

The PRPs started operation of a 300 gallon per minute groundwater pump-and-treat system in October 1998. This system is also expected to operate for approximately 30 years. The groundwater pump-and-treat system and SVE system have removed over 15,000 pounds of VOCs to date. The VOC removal rates from soils and groundwater are decreasing gradually, and the groundwater pump and treat system has reduced the 1,2-dichloroethane plume over time.

EPA approved reduced groundwater pumping rates of 375 gallons per minute in March 2002 and 150 gallons per minute in March 2006. EPA is working closely with Ohio EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the PRPs to monitor the effect of the reduced pumping rates to expeditiously achieve groundwater cleanup goals.

EPA completed the third Five-Year Review (FYR) Report for the pristine site in September 2006. The report showed that all immediate threats at the site have been addressed; there is no evidence of exposure to site-related contaminants; and the existing site and groundwater uses are consistent with the objectives in the remedy and deed notice. Long-term protectiveness requires soil and groundwater cleanup goals to be achieved and ongoing verification that all institutional controls (ICs) are being implemented. EPA continues to work with Ohio EPA and the PRPs to implement ICs.

On August 19, 2009, an enforceable Environmental Covenant for the site was recorded in the Hamilton County Recorder's Office. This Environmental Covenant, signed by the site owners and EPA, restricts future site uses to those that would not adversely affect the protectiveness of the remedial action.

EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences in June 2011, which revised contaminant clean-up levels in accordance with current toxicologic practice, and deleted cleanup levels for contaminants that are no longer of concern at the site. EPA also completed the fourth FYR in July 2011 and found that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment.

EPA approved the final Human Health Risk Assessment that incorporates current site circumstances into the 2006 Preliminary Human Health Risk Assessment on November 10, 2014.

EPA plans to complete the next FYR of the site by July 2016.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie patterson (patterson.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4904

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359




Site Profile Information

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


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