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Congressional District # 14


EPA ID# OHD980510200
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The Old Mill site is located in the Village of Rock Creek, Ashtabula County, Ohio, and consists of two parcels of land referred to as the Henfield property (three acres) and the Kraus property (ten acres). Five dilapidated wooden buildings and four concrete silos were located on the Henfield property, which was the former location of a feed mill and later a potting soil operation. Surface water flow from the Henfield property drains to the southwest corner and then to a ditch which discharges to the Rock Creek. The Kraus property was partially covered with piles of railroad ballast. Surface water flow from the Kraus property drains toward the northwest to a ditch which discharges to Badger Run and the Grand River.

Land use in the vicinity of the site is a mixture of residential, agricultural, and commercial/industrial developments. The site is in a rural village setting with the closest residences approximately 75 feet from the property boundary. Approximately 2,000 people live within a two-mile radius of the site.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982 and finalized the site on the NPL in September 1983.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals including lead were in the soils near the silos on the Henfield Property and in the drum storage area of the Kraus Property. Studies indicated that the soils were principally contaminated with the VOCs trichloroethene, dichloroethene, 1,1-dichloroethene, vinyl chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, ethylbenzene, and xylene, with trichoroethylene as the principal contaminant. These threats were addressed as part of the cleanup activities performed at the site. VOCs are contaminating the groundwater underneath the Henfield Property and the Kraus Property. Potential health risks exist through accidental ingestion of or direct contact with the contaminated groundwater until ongoing treatment is complete.

Cleanup Progress

Response activity at the Old Mill site began in 1979, before the site was listed on the NPL, when EPA and the Ohio EPA found 1,200 drums of toxic waste, including solvents, oils, resins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), stored on the two properties. Superfund emergency removal activities and enforcement action resulted in a drum removal action that began in November 1981 and was completed in October 1982. Some of the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs), who may have contributed to the contamination at the site, participated in the removal activities by removing 580 of the drums. Under removal authorities, 80 cubic yards of contaminated soil was removed in November 1982 from a drum storage area of the Henfield property, and a fence was installed around a portion of the site in 1984.

Between August 1983 and December 1984, a Remedial Investigation (RI) was conducted at the site. In September 1983, EPA sent notice letters to approximately 30 PRPs giving notice of the RI and Feasibility Study (FS). On February 23, 1984, a CERCLA Section 106 Administrative Order was issued to a former operator of the site requiring the installation of a fence around hot spots containing hazardous substances. The former operator failed to comply with the order, and EPA installed the fence to limit public access to the site. On November 2, 1984, EPA sent demand letters to several PRPs outlining their liability for payment of all past response costs as well as any other costs arising from remedial activities at the site. Negotiations were held, but no acceptable offers of settlement were received.

EPA signed a Record of Decision in August 1985 which selected a remedy to address the remaining contamination issues at the site. Since no acceptable offers of settlement at the site were received, EPA conducted the remedial action at the site. Cleanup actions included the installation of an extraction system to recover contaminated groundwater from both the shallow and deep aquifers. An additional shallow aquifer intercepting trench was installed along with two monitoring wells in order to address a VOC plume that was extending beyond the original area of concern. Upon completion of construction, a final inspection was held on August 18, 1989. The groundwater extraction and treatment system was designed to remove existing concentrations of VOCs and semi-VOCs from groundwater via air stripping and carbon absorption. Treated water is discharged by gravity flow to an underground water drain. The drain discharges to a surface water drainage ditch located near the southwest corner of the treatment building that ultimately flows to Rock Creek. EPA approved the Remedial Action Report on April 24, 1991.

EPA completed the first five-year review for the site on January 17, 1996. A second five-year review was completed on September 28, 2001. A Consent Decree was entered by the court on March 27, 2002, under which the PRPs assumed Operation and Maintenance (O&M) responsibilities at the site. The third five-year review for the site was completed on September 28, 2006. The review concluded that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

As recommended in the 2006 review, the PRPs performed an Institutional Control (IC) study for the site for EPA's review. The IC study documented the current status of all ICs at the site, as required by the ROD. The primary IC at the site is the Village of Rock Creek’s Ordinance No. 2221, dated June 5, 2002. This ordinance provides comprehensive rules, regulations, and conditions of service for the waterworks system of the Village of Rock Creek, Ohio. Specifically, Section 14 of the Ordinance states that “no new wells will be dug or drilled within the Village limits. All wells or other sources of potable water now in use may remain in service, providing they have not been condemned by the Ashtabula County Health Department.” The site is also subject to the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC Chapter 3701-28-03) which prohibits installing, modifying, or closing private wells without a permit.

EPA and the PRPs are exploring the feasibility of implementing restrictive covenants under the Ohio Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA) for impacted parcels at the site. In addition to the existing Village Ordinance and Ohio Administrative Code, having UECA covenants in place will strengthen long-term stewardship of the site and impacted properties by insuring that the restrictions run with the land in the event transfers of ownership occur.

EPA completed the fourth five-year review for the site on September 26, 2011. The five-year review found that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Based on the site inspection, monitoring data and communication with O&M personnel, no inappropriate land or groundwater use was identified. Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled through the implemented remedial action. Long-term protectiveness of the remedy will be verified by continued monitoring of groundwater conditions at the site. In addition, an evaluation of additional data will be performed to confirm that vapor intrusion of contaminants will not be an issue in the future. Continued compliance with use restrictions provided by the Village of Rock Creek groundwater use ordinance provides short-term protectiveness of the remedy. EPA will seek to enhance existing parcel-specific deed restrictions with restrictive covenants that conform to Ohio’s UECA to ensure long-term protectiveness of the remedy.

A Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) Pilot Test has been completed for the site. The results of the study are currently under review to evaluate whether MNA can be considered a viable long-term remedial alternative for the site. In the interim, groundwater monitoring continues to be performed by the PRPs with EPA and Ohio EPA oversight.

The next five-year review for the site will be completed by summer 2016.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
linda kern (kern.linda@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7341

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

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


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