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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Vernay Laboratories Inc. Facility - Yellow Springs, OH

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Congress amended the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in November 1984, expanding the Act's cleanup provisions and prompting EPA and its state partners to develop the RCRA Corrective Action Program. The program oversees the investigation and cleanup of nearly 4,000 hazardous waste sites across the country, including many with risks comparable to Superfund sites.

Vernay Laboratories Inc. owns a 10-acre facility at 875 Dayton Street in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The facility manufactured specialty rubber components for the automotive and medical industries from the early 1950s through 2005. The site previously contained two rubber manufacturing buildings, a storage building, asphalt driveways, and parking lots on the property. These structures were demolished in early 2009.

Vernay has been testing the water underground (called ground water) at the facility and in the surrounding area since 1998 via a network of monitoring wells. Results have shown that ground water contaminated with volatile organic compounds (chemicals that evaporate in air easily such as solvents) has flowed underneath Vernay’s eastern property boundary. In addition, samples collected from storm sewers at the facility and sediments (creek mud) and water from a creek northeast of the facility contain low levels of these chemicals. Testing has revealed that soil next to and beneath structures at the facility contains volatile organic compounds and petroleum products.

In 2001, EPA conducted a study and identified possible “source” areas – areas that could have leaked chemicals into ground or surface water. These areas include sewer lines, floor drains, drum storage areas, dust suppression and weed control areas, loading docks, a storm water catch basin, a septic system and hydraulic oil trench, a fill area, and vapor degreasers. Some of these source areas no longer are on the property.

In September 2002, Vernay and EPA signed a legal order called an administrative order on consent. In this order, Vernay agrees to conduct a study to determine the type of contaminants involved, and the extent of contamination. The company also agreed to clean up contamination and take actions to keep contaminated ground water from flowing into unpolluted areas away from the site. EPA refers to the study and cleanup as “corrective action.” EPA will oversee and approve the work.  


    Cleanup Status

    Vernay has installed a Ground Water Capture Treatment System to pump water from underneath the ground and remove chemicals using activated carbon as an interim clean up method. The cleaned water is then discharged to sanitary sewers under permit. This “pump and treat” system will slow the movement of contaminated ground water. As of June 2017, over 147,000,000 gallons of groundwater have been removed and treated by this system.

    In June 2015, EPA requested that Vernay compete a soil vapor investigation of the property and surrounding off-site properties in accordance with the 2015 Technical Guide for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Vapor Sources to Indoor Air document. The vapor intrusion investigation began in February 2016 and is currently ongoing. The study has not found evidence of harmful gases moving into buildings. To confirm this finding, Vernay will conduct additional sampling.

    EPA expects Vernay to conclude the RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) in late 2017 after gathering another round of vapor intrusion data, and that Vernay will then submit a draft Corrective Measures Proposal (CMP) in early 2018. The CMP will propose a final corrective measures approach. EPA will review the corrective measures approach and allow for a public comment period. Based on EPA review and public comments received, EPA will either approve the CMP or provide comments to Vernay, which if incorporated by Vernay would result in an approved CMP.

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    Site Description

    Yellow Springs is located in the north-central portion of Greene County (Miami Township), which is located in the southwestern portion of Ohio. The site is located in a mixed industrial, commercial, and residential area.

    The site is bounded to the north by Dayton Street. Beyond Dayton Street lies Antioch Publishing Company and residential properties, followed by agricultural land. The site is bounded by the west by East Enon Road. Beyond East Enon Road lies residential and agricultural lands, as well as Yellow Springs High School.  Commercial and residential properties border the site to the east; and residential properties border along the south.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    USS is investigating the extent of contamination in the soil, sediment, groundwater, porewater and surface water resulting from historic spills and waste disposal.    

    On-Site:

    • Tetrachloroethene (PCE)
    • Trichloroethene (TCE)
    • Cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE)
    • Vinyl Chloride (VC)
    • 1,2-Dichloropropane (1,2-DCP)

    Off-Site:

    • Tetrachloroethene (PCE)
    • Trichloroethene (TCE)

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    N/A

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    N/A     

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    Site Responsiblity at this Facility

    EPA Region 5: Corrective Action and CAMU.

    Ohio EPA

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