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Report says contaminants found outside Envirosafe
Toledo Blade

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 said.

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 landfills.

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 the facility.

"We are talking about a highly industrialized area, and thatís why you canít make a conclusion about Envirosafe," he said.

Mr. Carroll told the 15 people at the meeting Envirosafe would be responsible to pay for the cleanup.

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