Community meeting

Local leaders hope community meeting at Tremont Barrel fill site will spur further action

Chemical waste from the Tremont Barrel Fill did not contaminate the local drinking water source. But the concern is that the waste, if not removed, can seep into the water supply in the future, causing major complications.

The hope is that a community meeting will not only lead to the advancement of the cleanup process, but will educate the next generation on the importance of removing toxic waste from filling barrels.

A previous community meeting that brought together hundreds of people finally led to action in 2018, Estrop said, and he hopes another meeting will have the same result.

However, when and where the meeting will take place is still under discussion.

Officially listed as the Tremont City Drum Fill Site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is a closed industrial waste landfill in the German township and is approximately 1.5 miles to west of Tremont City and about 3.5 miles northwest of Springfield.

The site is located in the northwest corner of a larger 80-acre property that also includes the Tremont City Landfill and the Tremont City Waste Transfer Facility. Approximately 51,500 barrels and approximately 300,000 gallons of industrial liquid waste were disposed of in waste cells at the site between 1976 and 1979.

This information has been listed on the US EPA website as barrel filling is handled under that agency’s Superfund alternative approach.

But local officials have expressed frustration at what they see as a delay in the cleanup process.

A barrel filling decision case was finalized in 2018 between the community, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and potential responsible parties, which determined the method for cleaning up the barrel filling site , according to an earlier press release from the city of Springfield.

The US EPA and US Department of Justice began negotiations with potential responsible parties in 2019 and have yet to finalize a consent decree imposing the financial burden on companies that supplied toxic chemicals to the filling site. barrels, the city statement added.

The consent agreement, if accepted by the companies listed as responsible parties, would allow the process to move forward as well as the development of more detailed cleanup plans. This would include the removal of liquid toxic waste from the Clark County site and the remaining solid toxic waste would be reburied in a double-walled pit. This location would then be capped and nearby groundwater monitored for any leaks.

However, local officials say they were not told when this would happen and are looking for ways to pressure the consent agreement to be finalized soon.

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An EPA spokesperson said it’s not uncommon for these types of negotiations, including a consent agreement, to last anywhere from six months to a few years, depending on the specific legal and technical circumstances at each Superfund site. .

The spokesperson said the EPA is committed to moving the negotiation process forward. However, the city of Springfield and Clark County Health Commissioner Charlie Patterson met with the Ohio EPA last month to discuss the option of putting the site on the Superfund’s National Priorities List.

The City of Springfield and Clark County have asked Ohio Governor Mike Dewine to consider putting the property on the National Priorities List in a bid to jumpstart cleanup efforts at the site.

“It is an outrage that this site has not been cleaned up and still poses a threat to the health and safety of this community,” Estrop previously said. “Our aquifer is not only one of this community’s most vital assets, but also key to the health and well-being of those who live here.

State Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, said he urges the two U.S. senators from Ohio and House Representatives who represent Clark County to push for money from a recently approved federal infrastructure bill to clean up the barrel filling site.