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NPL Site Narrative for Diamond Shamrock Corp. (Painesville Works)

Painesville, Ohio

Federal Register Notice:  May 10, 1993

Diamond Shamrock Corp.'s Painesville Works covers about 500 acres between Lake Erie and the Grand River in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio. The site is bordered on the east by a large tire manufacturing company and on the west by an industrial area in the city of Fairport Harbor.

The Diamond Shamrock Works began operations in 1912, producing mainly caustic soda. The plant also produced chromate compounds, chlorine and chlorinated paraffins, and coke. Diamond Shamrock also accepted and disposed of used spent pickle liquor from nearby steel industries. In October 1931, the plant began production of chromates, including sodium dichromate, potassium dichromate, and chromic acid. The plant closed in 1972. In 1977, the State of Ohio approved a reclamation plan submitted by Diamond Shamrock. In accordance with the plan, Diamond Shamrock would cover one of the waste lakes with a clay cover. In 1986, Maxus Energy Corp. bought out Diamond Shamrock Chemical Co. Shortly after, the property was divided into parcels, some of which were sold to Standard Machine Equipment. During the demolition of buildings on the production site, PCBs were discovered in the transformer oils. Oil containing PCBs was recovered, all onsite buildings were demolished, contaminated soil was covered with clay, and the site graded to drain toward Lake Erie.

Eight sources are associated with the Diamond Shamrock Works; 0.75 million tons of chromate waste materials, three waste lakes, a waste water retention basin, a hazardous waste landfill, chromate effluent treatment lagoons, and contaminated soils in the main production area.

This site poses a threat to the drinking water intakes along Lake Erie, and to the fisheries, wetlands, and sensitive environments in the Grand River and Lake Erie. Several substances were found in the surface water and sediment sampling conducted in 1981 by EPA, including: hexavalent chromium, mercury, cyanide, ethylbenzene, xylene, and naphthalene. Headlands Beach State Park, located approximately 0.25 mile west of the Grand River's entry into Lake Erie, is a significant recreation area. The Grand River has several species of fin fish and is used for sports fishing. Lake Erie is used for sport and commercial fishing. The Grand River and the adjacent stream-reach to this site are partially lined with wetlands. The wetlands provide habitat for the River Otter, a State-endangered-species. The area is also a prime habitat for the Indiana Bat. The Grand River in the vicinity of the site is designated by the State of Ohio as an area for production and maintenance of aquatic life under section 305 of the Clean Water Act.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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