Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

INDUSTRIAL EXCESS LANDFILL
UNIONTOWN, OH

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 30-acre Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) site is located in Stark County, Ohio. Prior to 1966, the area was used for mining sand and gravel. In 1966, the mining and excavation pit was converted into a landfill, which operated until 1980. During this time, the IEL received industrial waste primarily from the rubber industries in Akron, Ohio. An estimated 780,000 tons of solid waste and one million gallons of liquid waste were dumped onto the ground and into an evaporation lagoon on site. Besides industrial wastes, the landfill also accepted waste from hospitals, septic tank cleaning firms, and the general public. The landfill ceased operations in 1980, and was covered with soil. Landfill operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Groundwater cleanup and monitoring are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed by PRP actions, with oversight by EPA and Ohio EPA.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The most recent review in 2013 concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Long-term protectiveness requires proper maintenance of the perimeter fence and monitoring wells, achievement of cleanup goals for contaminated groundwater, and stewardship measures for the site’s institutional controls. EPA will complete the next five-year review of the site’s remedy in 2016.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site’s long-term remedy included alternate water supplies for 100 homes, capping the site, expanding the landfill gas extraction and treatment system, extracting and treating contaminated groundwater, pumping groundwater to maintain the water table at a level below that of landfill wastes, fencing, deed restrictions to limit the future use of the site, and continued monitoring. In 1990, EPA bought 22 parcels of land, consisting of 12 residences and two businesses. These properties, which bordered the site, were needed for proper installation of the landfill cap.

A remedy update in 2000 eliminated the groundwater pump-and-treat system and redesigned the landfill cover. Also in 2000, the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) did several follow-up investigations, sampling remaining drums, checking for asbestos, disposing of trash, and searching for any underground structures requiring additional evaluation. The PRPs then demolished three remaining buildings at the site and removed eight underground storage tanks. A remedy update in 2002 added to existing vegetative cover at the landfill, included natural attenuation of groundwater contaminants on and off site, maintained groundwater and landfill gas monitoring, and required additional design studies.

Continued groundwater monitoring shows that contaminant concentrations are decreasing. Only three contaminants now exceed cleanup goals. The PRPs continue to inspect the site and collect samples from groundwater monitoring wells twice a year. EPA and Ohio EPA are also working with the PRPs to update the operations and maintenance plan for the site.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

On-site groundwater is contaminated with a few volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Contamination levels are decreasing, both in terms of number of contaminants detected and in concentration. There is no evidence to support the presence of a groundwater plume. Methane concentrations in the landfill gas continues to dissipate, to the point where the existing methane venting system no longer needs to be operated.

Most residents downgradient of the site are connected to an alternate water supply, thereby minimizing potential receptors of contaminated groundwater from the site. Although historically there have been sporadic detections of metals outside of the landfill boundaries, tests of drinking water wells in 1998 revealed that such metal contaminants were significantly lower (i.e., one or two orders of magniture less) than federal drinking water standards. Groundwater on and off the site continues to be monitored.

 

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Sampling and Monitoring

  

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Emergency Response and Removal

Cleanup has also included removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. Between 1985 and 1988, EPA installed a methane gas venting system at the site to control the migration of methane and landfill gases off site. EPA also removed 53 drums of suspected industrial waste as part of this effort. EPA also installed air strippers at residences with private wells affected by the site’s groundwater contamination.

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Enforcement Information

This site is being addressed by responsible party actions, with oversight by U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA.
 

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