Turner asks EPA about delay of Beavercreek Superfund site cleanup

This is a screenshot from a film of the fire in September 1969 at the Lammers Barrel facility in Beavercreek.
This is a screenshot from a film of the fire in September 1969 at the Lammers Barrel facility in Beavercreek.

More testing is planned this summer at the Lammers Barrel Superfund Site in Beavercreek, and the resulting data will be used to determine the design and execution of removing the hazardous toxins from the soil and groundwater on and off the site.

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The Lammers Barrel Superfund site is a 2.5-acre area near the northeast intersection of East Patterson and Grange Hall roads. The land and groundwater there have been determined to be contaminated with hazardous waste stemming from a fire in 1969 that destroyed the chemical recycling facility.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner sent a Congressional letter of inquiry dated June 22 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting information about the status of the project.

Turner wrote that “the timely cleanup of the land and groundwater pollution there is critical for the community to thrive.”

According to Turner’s letter, the full cleanup is projected to be finished next year and cleanup of the off-property site is expected in 2019. The work was previously predicted to be finished in 2014 and 2015, according to Turner’s letter.

The EPA has yet to respond to the letter, according to Turner’s office.

MORE: Lammers Barrel Superfund cleanup plan in sight

About a week prior to Turner’s letter, Ohio EPA site coordinator Scott Glum updated Beavercreek City Engineer Jeff Moorman, stating that more soil sampling will be done this year on the property and surrounding areas.

“The pre-design investigation work is underway at Lammers Barrel,” Glum’s email reads. “Additional on-site soil sampling is needed to better define the areas that require treatment. That work should be completed this summer.”

For the off-property work, Glum reported that “groundwater sampling and soil gas sampling is expected to occur late summer/early fall.”

“The data gathered from these sampling events will help determine an appropriate remedy for the off-property groundwater contamination,” according to Glum’s email.

MORE: Contaminated sites raise alarms, health concerns

In 2002, the former Lammers Barrel property was added to the National Priorities List and became a Superfund site, which is defined by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services as land contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as needing cleaned up “because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment.”

The Lammers Barrel site was a chemical recycling facility until it was destroyed in a fire in 1969. The property, along with the nearby aquifer and residential wells, were found to be contaminated with toxins that leached into the soil and groundwater as a result of the fire.

Specifically, chlorinated volatile organic compounds and aromatic hydrocarbons were detected. The plan is to neutralize the land and water of those potential cancer-causing contaminants through soil mixing and groundwater injection.

The U.S. EPA announced this week that it has reached a settlement with Sunoco (R&M) LLC, one of dozens of companies named as defendants in the case, U.S. vs. 3M Company et. al., which is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio..

The Pennsylvania-based gas and oil company must pay $85,253.85 to the EPA account set aside for remediation at the site, according to the Federal Register — the U.S. government’s daily journal.

If this settlement is approved in federal court, Sunoco will have paid nearly $160,000 toward the project. At least 38 companies have already been named as defendants in the case. The total project was previously estimated to cost $13 million.

The public now has 30 days to review the settlement and provide feedback to the EPA. If the EPA receives objections, the federal environmental protection group may choose to reject the settlement and return to litigation.

You can request a copy of the proposed settlement by contacting Maria Gonzalez, Associate Regional Counsel, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Blvd., mail code: C–14J, Chicago, IL 60604. To provide feedback, comments should reference the Lammers Barrel Superfund Site, and EPA Docket No. V–W–17–C– 006 and should be addressed to Gonzalez at the above address.