Plans to dig up hazardous material landfill could threaten Clark County water source

(WDTN Photo)
(WDTN Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Clark County commissioners are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to rid the area of some trash.

Tremont City Landfill has been closed for decades, but now the EPA wants to dig up a plot of land where barrels filled with tons of hazardous materials have been buried underground for years.

The county and the EPA are at odds about what to do with the waste once it’s dug up.

“It’s filled with over 200,000 barrels that we’re not quite sure what’s in there,” County Commissioner John Detrick said.

The EPA has a $26-million plan to dig up the unknown waste, put a protective liner in the hole to prevent leaking, then place the barrels back in the ground and refill the landfill.  The proposal has county officials concerned, because the landfill is roughly a mile from an aquifer that supplies drinking water for thousands of people.  They believe this could affect their water system and possibly create a contamination problem in the future.

“You never know, and when you got the power to take care of it, why not do it now for future generations, because this is a beautiful area and our water supply is one of the best in the world, so it’s one of our highest priorities of the county commission,” Detrick said.

Testing completed in 2014 by the EPA indicated no immediate threat to the aquifer for many years.

“We can’t take that chance, because the water is the future of our communities and we need to protect it,” Detrick said.

The county wants the EPA to spend double to remove the hazardous material and dispose of it elsewhere, instead of putting the unknown waste material back in the ground.

“You don’t know what’s in the those barrels and they were put in years ago before there were quite as many regulations there was over 25 companies have disposed of chemical waste there and it just would be a good piece of mind,” Detrick said.

No decision has been made on when the Tremont City Landfill cleanup project will begin.

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