Monday, March 21, 2011

Ohio EPA approves Hilton Davis cleanup plan

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) has released a Decision Document for Final Corrective Action (PDF), its plan for remediation of the 80-acre Hilton Davis property at 2235 Langdon Farm Road.

Long an industrial site, cleanup of the property was mandated by the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in a 1986 Consent Decree between Kodak, the Ohio EPA, and the Pleasant Ridge Community Council.

While toxic waste lagoons and contaminated soil from the manufacturing of dyes and chemicals have been removed, concerns remain over chemical wastes that may have been dumped in Bloody Run Creek, which runs through the site.

No new solutions

Solutions proposed in the most recent document mirror those spelled out in the Ohio EPA's Statement of Basis for Corrective Measures, released in January 2010.

Under terms of the document, wholly-owned Eastman Kodak subsidiary North Pastoria Environmental Co. (NPEC) would cap the site with a thin layer of soil or asphalt, controlling human exposure and restricting on-site groundwater usage. Further excavation would be required on residual contaminated soil observed within two of 13 former slit trench disposal areas.

Additionally, the Ohio EPA is requiring NPEC to develop an operation and maintenance program that will address long-term cover maintenance, groundwater monitoring, provisions for managing future soil excavations, and consideration of the potential for vapor intrusion prior to the design and construction of any new buildings that might be developed on the site.

The property would be maintained for industrial use.

Public can appeal

During a public comment period held following the release of the Statement of Basis, many respondents feared that the remedies proposed failed to comply with the Consent Decree. Respondents urged additional studies of the soil and groundwater both on and near the site, source reduction instead of containment, and remediation of the site to residential standards.

Representatives from surrounding communities feared that the plan amounted to the creation of "a permanent tomb for toxic waste", a cost-saving measure that would damage health and economic viability on both the site and in adjacent residential neighborhoods.

The City of Cincinnati, the City of Norwood, and the Village of Golf Manor all passed resolutions supporting a more complete cleanup.

The document, which includes the Ohio EPA response to public comments, can be reviewed at the Bond Hill branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 1703 Dale Road; the Ohio EPA Southwest District Office, 401 E Fifth Street in Dayton*; and the Ohio EPA Division of Hazardous Waste Management, 50 W Town Street, Suite 700 in Columbus*.

Appeals can be filed with the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission, and should be filed within 30 days.

* For the Dayton office, please call in advance at (937) 285-6357. For the Columbus office, please call in advance at (614) 644-2917.

Previous reading on BC:
Hilton Davis committee to travel to Columbus, pressure for cleanup (7/13/10)
Deadline approaching for Hilton Davis comments (3/23/10)
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)