EPA sets cleanup plan for Ohio Superfund chemical
Chicago, IL— U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency Region 5 has reached a decision on a cleanup
plan for the Nease Chemical Superfund site in Columbiana County,
The 44-acre site is northwest
of Salem on the Columbiana-Mahoning county line. Between 1961
and 1973, Nease Chemical produced household cleaning products,
fire retardants and pesticides at the site.
EPA is most concerned about mirex,
which was used in pesticide production and disposed of in soil
and unlined ponds at the property. EPA is also concerned about
ground water contamination beneath the site. The site was placed
on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1983.
The $19 million plan includes
a mix of innovative pond-chemical removal methods, soil capping
and ground water treatment methods. EPA, working in consultation
with Ohio EPA, evaluated five cleanup options addressing four
distinct areas of the site and held a 30-day public comment period
on its proposed option before selecting the cleanup plan.
The plan calls for ponds 1 and
2 to be treated with a combination of methods in which a device
with rotating metal blades is sunk beneath the surface of the
ponds to churn up chemicals and bring them to the surface for
capture, treatment and disposal before they can evaporate in the
When most of the contamination
has been removed, the device will be used to mix a cement-like
substance into the ground to prevent any remaining contamination
Ponds 1, 2 and 7 and exclusion
areas A and B will be covered with thick plastic sheets and a
layer of clean soil to prevent rain from soaking through and spreading
remaining contaminants. Other areas, such as ponds 3 and 4, will
be covered with clean soil only to prevent contact with contaminants.
Shallow ground water on the eastern
side of the site will be collected in a trench, pumped above the
ground and treated to remove contamination. Deep ground water
and the southern area will be treated by injecting a substance
known as “nanoscale zero-valent iron.” This cutting-edge
process uses microscopic particles of specially treated iron to
clean the ground water chemically.