Sunday, September 24 from 3:00 – 5:00pm, faith community leaders will gather for a briefing and tour in Dayton, Ohio. We will visit toxic Superfund sites under the management of the Environmental Protection Agency.
We will gather at 3:00pm at Westminister Presbyterian Chapel (125 N. Wilkinson St), learn together for 30 minutes, then travel to the South Dayton Dump, the Behr Dayton Thermal System Plume Site, and the North Sanitary (Valleycrest) Landfill. We will hear remarks from University of Dayton professor Marianist Sister Leanne Jablonski FMI, Jerry Bowling III, and Emilee George. The event is co-sponsored by National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Creation Justice Ministries and UD Hanley Sustainability Institute & Marianist Environmental Education Center.
Nationwide, toxic Superfund sites are polluting our air and water, while also harming communities health. According to the landmark Toxic Waste and Race study by the United Church of Christ, communities of color are most likely to live near toxic sites, contributing to racial disparities in health problems such as asthma and cancer.
Please join us for this important prayer event as we highlight the need to protect communities from toxic pollution and urge Congress to fully fund the EPA and its Superfund Program. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
See information about the Superfund Prayer Tours in St. Louis, Missouri on September 23 and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 24.
DAYTON SUPERFUND SITES: BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Source: EPA website and map for Superfund, brownfield, etc. at https://www.epa.gov/cleanups/cleanups-my-community
South Dayton Dump and Landfill Background
The South Dayton Dump and Landfill is a former disposal area for industrial and municipal waste. The site is approximately 80 acres and includes a 15-acre pond, as well as property now occupied by an operating asphalt plant and other businesses. Open burning, landfilling and storage of hazardous waste throughout its half-century operation has resulted in contamination of soil and portions of the ground water aquifer underlying the site, potentially threatening the adjacent Great Miami River. Soil contains metals that include lead, copper, mercury and other chemicals. Groundwater contamination is mainly organic chemicals such as tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene. In 2006 the Agency and the potentially responsible parties signed an agreement for EPA to oversee the PRPs investigate the nature and extent of contamination, determine risks posed by the site to human health and the environment, and develop cleanup options.”
EPA’s Involvement at this Site
Site investigations from 2008 to 2010 included a geophysical survey, test pit and test trench sampling, vertical aquifer sampling, landfill gas sampling, and groundwater monitoring well installation and sampling. Based on these investigations, site work was divided into two parts or "operable units." Operable unit 1 will involve evaluating cleanup alternatives to address 55 acres of the landfill and will include cleanup alternatives that allow on-site businesses to remain open and operate safely. Operable unit 2 will involve detailed investigation of surface water and sediment in the on-site quarry pond and the Great Miami River, in floodplain soils and in off-site groundwater.
A vapor intrusion study in 2011 and 2012 found that vapor intrusion and landfill gas migration posed an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health. Vapor intrusion occurs when chemicals in landfill materials and groundwater give off gases that can rise up through the soil and seep into buildings through foundations. To reduce sub-slab and indoor levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and methane, EPA issued an Action Memo in October 2012 requiring site PRPs to install sub-slab depressurization systems at several on-site buildings. These systems, similar to radon mitigation systems, have been installed in several buildings along Dryden Road. They draw TCE, methane and other vapors out of the soil under the buildings and vent them outside. The PRPs installed the mitigation systems and demolished other buildings in the summer of 2013. Site PRPs are currently conducting additional investigations of on-site groundwater and contaminant sources before finalizing cleanup alternatives.
In June 2016, EPA and several PRPs entered into a new Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent, under which the PRPs will collect additional samples of soil, groundwater, and sediment to characterize the site, understand the risks to human health and the environment, and develop remedial alternatives to address site risks. Sample collection is expected to begin in fall 2016.
Based on sampling of groundwater, soil gas, sub-slab air, and indoor air in 2012, EPA documented a completed exposure pathway for vapor intrusion at the SDDL Site. Vapor intrusion occurs when chemicals in landfill materials and ground water give off gases that can rise up through the soil and seep into buildings through foundations.
In order to reduce the sub-slab and indoor levels of TCE and methane, EPA issued an Action Memo in October, 2012, that required the PRPs to install sub-slab depressurization systems at several on-site buildings. These systems, similar to radon mitigation systems, have been installed in several buildings along Dryden Road and are drawing TCE, methane and other vapors out of the soil under the buildings and vent them outside.
As of summer 2016, most of the buildings are in compliance with indoor air and sub-slab vapor requirements, but additional modifications were made to the depressurization systems of a few buildings in early 2016. EPA will review the sampling data from these buildings to determine if they are now in compliance.
Risks and pathways addressed by the cleanup include health risks from people ingesting or touching contaminants in soil, sediment and groundwater, and inhaling contaminated soil or sediment particles.
Behr Dayton Background
The Behr Dayton Thermal System VOC Plume site is located northeast of the confluence of the Greater Miami and Mad rivers in Dayton, Ohio. MAHLE Behr Dayton Thermal Products LLC makes vehicle air conditioning and engine-cooling systems at the site. Chrysler Corporation owned and operated the facility from about 1937 to April 2002. Groundwater beneath the plant is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, including the solvent trichloroethene, or TCE. Polluted groundwater from beneath the plant has migrated underground to the south/southwest through residential, commercial and industrial areas of the neighborhood. Site investigations and cleanup planning are ongoing.
Risks and pathways addressed by the cleanup include health risks from people ingesting or inhaling contaminants in soil and groundwater. Vapor abatement systems installed in residential homes have taken care of people’s potential exposures to indoor air contamination. Not all homes have systems installed.
EPA’s Involvement at this Site
EPA first became involved in the site in 2007 and was initiated in response to a request from Ohio EPA. The site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) as a Superfund site in 2009. After EPA was unable to reach agreements with the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to lead the site’s remedial investigation, EPA began the remedial investigation in late 2009. EPA collected soil and groundwater samples across the area between 2009 to 2016. In 2009 and in accordance with an EPA-issued legal order, Behr Dayton Thermal Products LLC (now MAHLE Behr Dayton LLC) took over the ongoing operation, maintenance, and monitoring activities to prevent accumulation in businesses and homes of harmful vapors associated with the site. These activities include installation of vapor mitigation systems and they are still ongoing.
On December 22, 2015 EPA reached a legal agreement with MAHLE that requires MAHLE to install and operate a system involving air injection with subsequent extraction and treatment in an area at the southern edge of MAHLE’s Dayton operation. This is the portion of the groundwater contaminant plume that has the most significant concentrations of contaminants. A draft remedial investigation report was first submitted to U.S. EPA for review in August 2016, and a draft study of cleanup alternatives was first submitted in February 2017. Both of these reports are currently undergoing revisions.
The remedial investigation at the site has included studying potential source areas in and around several facilities, extensive groundwater sampling, and soil sampling. The cleanup investigation identified areas of concern outside of the original vapor sampling locations. These areas will now be investigated. U.S. EPA and the PRP are planning to conduct additional vapor intrusion sampling to assess if there are other homes in area that may have issues with vapor intrusion. This sampling will continue into next year and will help the agency complete its investigation in order to develop cleanup options for the entire site.
In accordance with the 2015 EPA's legal agreement with MAHLE (PDF) (45pp, 1.65 MB), preliminary work began in the summer of 2016 to install and operate a system involving air injection with subsequent extraction and treatment in an area of MAHLE’s facility. The full implementation of this activity is expected to occur in late 2017. EPA expects to make a decision on how to clean-up the overall site in 2018.
Health Impacts (as per Ohio Department of Health)
Before vapor abatement systems were installed, breathing indoor air contaminated with TCE above the established long-term screening levels for this site over the course of a lifetime could have harmed people’s health. This was considered to be a public health hazard for homes in the McCook Field Neighborhood south of the Behr Dayton Thermal facility where indoor air TCE concentrations exceeded the long-term screening level.
Breathing indoor air contaminated with TCE could increase the likelihood of harmful noncancer health effects and the development of certain types of cancer. Installation of the vapor abatement systems has lowered the concentrations of contaminants to levels that are not expected to cause adverse health effects upon exposure.
Before vapor abatement systems were installed, breathing indoor air contaminated with TCE for longer than two weeks but less than a year at four homes in the McCook Field Neighborhood south of the Behr Dayton Thermal Products facility could have harmed people’s health.
People using water from the Dayton public water supply for drinking, showering, or other household uses are currently not at risk for harmful health effects.
North Sanitary (Valleycrest) Landfill Background
The Valleycrest Landfill Site is located at 950 Brandt Pike. The site consists of an area of approximately 100 acres that is separated into eastern and western portions by north-south-trending Valleycrest Drive. The eastern portion of the site consists of approximately 35 acres, and the western portion of the site consists of approximately 65 acres. The site is located above the Great Miami Aquifer, which is a sole-source aquifer for the City of Dayton. The site is located in a mixed urban, industrial, and residential area. The site is bordered on the east and northeast by a residential neighborhood, on the north by several residences, on the southeast by commercial and residential structures and Valley Pike, and on the southwest by the CSX railroad property and residences. The site is bordered on the west by two residences and several industrial facilities, including the Brandt Pike petroleum terminals, Van Dyne Crotty Inc., industrial cleaner facility, and the Hotop demolition landfill. More than half of the area was used for landfilling industrial and municipal wastes into unlined former gravel pits. Five disposal areas have been identified. The site sits atop and within a federally designated, sole-source aquifer. Landfill operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Many fires have also occurred on site. Residents with affected drinking water wells have been connected to the public water supply. Following immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, planning and negotiation efforts for the site’s long-term remedy are ongoing.
The site is currently owned by the Keystone Gravel Company of Dayton, Ohio, and was operated as a sand and gravel quarry from before 1935 until the 1970s. In 1966, the site began accepting solid waste, and later, industrial waste, including hazardous waste drums in the eastern portion of the site (Area 1). Filling in the eastern portion of the site continued until approximately 1970. In 1970, the site began accepting waste in the western portion of the site (Area 5) and continued until approximately 1975.
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This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.