County: EPA plan puts water supply at risk

Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan to clean up a hazardous waste barrel fill is “unacceptable” and poses significant risks to a drinking water source that serves more than 85,000 residents, Clark County commissioners said Tuesday.

The EPA last month proposed digging up barrels containing hazardous waste at the Tremont City Barrel Fill, staging them on site and then reburying them in Tremont City in a lined landfill.

“The Ohio EPA doesn’t support that. No one here supports it. It’s just too dangerous to the aquifer,” Commissioner David Hartley said.

Hartley’s comments came on Tuesday at the Clark County Fairgrounds after he and commissioners John Detrick and Rick Lohnes passed a resolution denouncing the U.S. EPA’s clean up plan called Alternative 9A.

Various companies dumped hazardous waste at the site between 1976 to 1980 and for nearly a decade the EPA and area officials have discussed cleanup options.

Clark County commissioners support the Alternative 4A option that calls for removing all of the hazardous waste and taking it to a licensed facility for treatment and disposal, and then reburying the nonhazardous solid waste on site in Tremont City.

Alternative 4A could cost the companies responsible for the waste $45 million to $57 million.

Alternative 9A plan could cost more than $28 million, plus additional costs for future monitoring and maintenance.

City commissioners passed a resolution last week supporting Alternative 4A.

The resolutions will be sent to the U.S. EPA, which is accepting public comments on the proposed plans for the clean up until July 30.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson told county commissioners last month that trace amounts of hazardous waste has been found in the aquifer.

Hartley, Lohnes and Detrick said Tuesday in the resolution that Alternative 9A could ruin the water supply. The resolution also states the plan is inadequate, underfunded and that the barrel fill is an inappropriate place for a hazardous waste facility.

“Getting it corrected will help future generations,” Detrick said. “We have one of the best supplies of water in the world. We have to protect it.”

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