Report says contaminants found
Dangerous contaminants including known carcinogens have
been found in samples of groundwater, soil, and sediment
taken at the hazardous waste landfill on Otter Creek Road
in Oregon, officials of the U.S. and Ohio environmental
protection agencies said last night.
Their findings are part of a study detailing possible
environmental hazards at the facility owned by Envirosafe
Services of Ohio, Inc.
Six hundred samples were taken from "19 areas of
concern," said Tom Manning, U.S. EPA project coordinator.
The report presented during a public hearing last night
at the Oregon Municipal Building said 15 area groundwater
tests indicated contamination; 13 area soil samples indicated
contamination, and four surface water tests showed contaminants.
Tests also showed hazardous contaminants are present
outside the boundaries of the 134-acre landfill, Mr. Manning
Some of the chemicals detected in soil samples taken
from the area outside the landfillís 12 solid-waste management
units include polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly referred
to as PCBs. Also detected in the soil were arsenic, lead,
chromium IV, selenium, and cyanide.
Groundwater tests showed the presence of benzene, ethyl
benzene, trichloroethane, toluene, and other chemicals.
The second phase of the study is expected to be done
in 2005 and will include additional testing and a closer
examination of five of the landfillís waste pits.
Jeremy Carroll, an environmental supervisor for the Ohio
EPA, said contaminants also were found near the city of
Toledoís water intake lines, which run between hazardous
waste pits. The lines carry water from Lake Erie to the
cityís water-treatment plant in East Toledo.
However, "the water lines are under pressure, and
it would be very difficult for anything to get in,"
Mr. Carroll said.
Envirosafe bought the former Fondessy Enterprises landfill
in 1983. Fondessy began burying waste at the site in 1954.
In 2000, the EPA ordered Envirosafe to begin testing the
soil and groundwater in and around the dormant Fondessy
Envirosafe President Doug Roberts said the company would
take immediate action to clean up any hazardous materials
found during its testing, but he noted no contaminants
have been found in the aquifer under the landfill.
"There is shallow perched water that canít go anywhere,"
Mr. Roberts said. "Itís always been known that that
is there, but itís not moving anywhere, so the risk is
minimal, and the movement is minimal."
He dismissed the notion that contaminants found near
Otter Creek, which is outside the landfill, came from
"We are talking about a highly industrialized area,
and thatís why you canít make a conclusion about Envirosafe,"
Mr. Carroll told the 15 people at the meeting Envirosafe
would be responsible to pay for the cleanup.