Ohio community at odds with EPA over toxic waste site

(Photo Supplied/Ohio News Service)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOWO): Some Ohio residents say federal plans to clean up a toxic waste site in Clark County just aren’t going to cut it.

The Tremont City barrel fill site contains more than 51,000 drums buried in the late 1970s. They contain an estimated 1.5 million gallons of hazardous waste, including pesticides and volatile organic compounds.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposes building two liners at the site and reburying all waste except liquids.

Marilyn Welker, president of the local activist group People for Safe Water, maintains not neutralizing the chemicals compromises the plan.

“Liners have a shelf life of 50 to 60 years, at most,” she says. “So, it is just another ticking time bomb and they’re saying, ‘Well this will protect you forever.’ And we know that that’s not the way the chemicals work. That’s not the hydro-geology of this site.”

The site is very close to the Greater Miami Aquifer, which provides water for 13 Ohio counties.

The EPA stresses federal law requires making the plan cost effective, and the current plan has a $24 million price tag.

Community groups and local agencies are in favor of removing all the hazardous waste, which could cost about $56 million.


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