The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met with Clark County leaders Tuesday to discuss technical matters about the disposal of hazardous waste at the Tremont City Barrel Fill.
Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside the Clark County Combined Health District where the meeting was held, claiming the current plan for the barrel fill will not protect Clark County water in the future.
“We do not think it is protective. It will leave untreated waste on the site permanently, and that is what we will not accept,” People for Safe Water organizer Marilyn Welker said.
There are 51,500 barrels filled with hazardous waste under a field in northwest Clark County. The 1.5 million gallons of waste sits on 8.5 acres of land.
People for Safe Water has a clear message, “Dig it up, truck out and protect our water.”
The EPA originally planned to remove all hazardous waste from the site, until 2011 when it changed its course of action. The current plan is for the EPA to dig up the waste, remove all the liquid waste and put barrels containing solid waste back into the ground.
The difference in price between the two remedies is $28 million.
Welker was in Tuesday’s meeting as the community representative.
She joined representatives from the U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, Clark County Combined Health District, Waste Management and a few hydro-geologists.
U.S. EPA spokeswoman Joan Tanaka said Tuesday’s meeting was to help the parties involved better understand the technical matters of removing the waste from the barrel fill.
“We wanted to clear up the confusion about the hydro-geology,” Tanaka said.
Hydro-geology studies the way water moves through soil and aquifers.
Welker learned in the meeting that the liner the EPA has proposed to put in the barrel fill will only last 50 to 60 years.
“It’s a waste,” Welker said. “What happens after 50 to 60 years and the hazardous waste is still on site and not safely contained.”
“There are other components of the containment portion of the remedy,” said EPA spokesman Donald Bruce.
Nathan Macy, 17, came out to support the protesters Tuesday. He is concerned about his and future generations’ drinking the water in Clark County.
“As me and everybody else my age grows older, it will get worse and worse if they don’t do something about it,” Macy said. “If it’s a concern about having toxins in our everyday water we use, it should be a no-brainer decision to get rid of the waste.”