Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deadline approaching for Hilton Davis comments

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) is accepting public comment on a remediation plan for the former Hilton Davis site until March 26.

On January 25, the Ohio EPA released a draft Statement of Basis for Corrective Measures, which outlines Kodak's (through property-owning subsidiary North Pastoria Environmental Co.) plan to cap property contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in and around Bloody Run Creek within a thin layer of soil or asphalt.

But surrounding communities believe that the plan is being done on the cheap and fear that the toxins will contaminate the groundwater and the air, harming people in nearby residential neighborhoods.

In Pleasant Ridge, residents and citizens' groups have been fighting to have the contaminated 80-acre property at 2235 Langdon Farm Road cleaned up to terms set in a 1986 consent decree between Kodak, the Ohio EPA, and the Pleasant Ridge Community Council (PRCC).

Although toxic waste lagoons and contaminated soil from the manufacturing of dyes and chemicals have been remediated, concerns remain over the Bloody Run Creek ravine that runs through the site, where chemical wastes were dumped for a period of more than 50 years.

'A permanent tomb for toxic waste'

PRCC has urged the Ohio EPA to consider requiring Kodak to utilize "source reduction technologies" to the maximum extent possible, such as installing vacuum pumps to pull toxic vapors out of the ground and excavating lead hot spots.

Doing less would create "a permanent tomb for toxic waste", PRCC says.

On March 17, Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution urging the Ohio EPA to improve the draft plan to make it "the most thorough and comprehensive" possible. It also adopted a motion to convey the City's opposition to the plan to Governor Ted Strickland, the City's state senators and representatives, and the Ohio EPA.

Councilmembers Leslie Ghiz and Jeff Berding voted against both measures.

Waste land

It is widely believed that entombing the VOCs would restrict the future of the property to industrial uses, impeding redevelopment and likely dooming it to permanent brownfield status – meaning lost tax revenue.

On March 8, the Village of Golf Manor passed a resolution that states that "all communities should be afforded the opportunity to redress blighting influences and replace them with more contemporary developments."

The Statement of Basis can be viewed online (PDF) at the PRCC website.

Written comments can be sent by mail to Ohio EPA, Division of Hazardous Waste Management, Attn: Regulatory and Information Services Section, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049; by fax to (614) 728-1245; or by e-mail to dhwmcomments@epa.state.oh.us.

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati council supports comprehensive cleanup of Hilton Davis site (1/13/09)
PRCC asks residents to write Ohio EPA, governor (12/15/08)
Cincinnati to pay PRCC nearly $10K for Hilton Davis cleanup (6/18/08)
City may pay more funds for Hilton Davis (5/23/08)
Meeting on Hilton Davis cleanup tonight (3/12/08)