Air samples collected from a handful of homes near Cascade’s manufacturing facility showed no cause for concern, according to information from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The Sheridan Avenue company, which manufactures attachments for fork and truck lifts, recently collected air samples from about 10 homes near its property to check for signs of vapor intrusion from trichloroethylene. Also known as TCE, the chemical had been used to clean and degrease metal and gives off vapors that can seep into homes.
Air samples taken from the homes recently were below screening levels.
“It basically means nothing of concern showed up,” said Dina Pierce, a spokeswoman from the Ohio EPA.
A chemical spill occurred at Cascade in 1988, and the company has since monitored and treated groundwater on its site.
The company conducted the additional, off-site testing after it discovered trace amounts of the chemical from that leak might be slowly migrating outside its property. In addition to the air samples, Cascade also installed monitoring wells throughout the neighborhood north and west of Sheridan Avenue to track the chemical in water.
Cascade will conduct a second round of air samples in the winter and will continue with groundwater monitoring as well, said Rodney Hickman, plant manager at the company. The company also recently installed a system to prevent vapor intrusion at its 200,000-square-foot plant as a precaution.
“We’re still doing groundwater monitoring and making sure that we know the entire plume and where it’s at. As we keep going with our remediation efforts and making sure the numbers continue to diminish, we should be closed out here hopefully in the next several years,” Hickman said.
The chemical was once common in manufacturing but hasn’t been used at Cascade in decades. TCE can have several effects on humans, including dizziness, headaches and facial numbness, according to information from the Ohio EPA.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that in the foreseeable future this remediation effort will be closed,” Hickman said.
The Springfield News-Sun provides unmatched coverage of the issues that affect the health of residents in Clark and Champaign counties. For this story, the paper spoke with company officials and environmental experts to explain what action the they are taking to monitor a decades-old chemical spill.