EPA conducts 1,4-dioxane groundwater investigation at Industrial Excess Landfill in Uniontown, Ohio
[Green, OH] –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently overseeing a groundwater investigation for 1,4-dioxane west of the Industrial Excess Landfill Superfund Site in Uniontown, Ohio. The principal responsible parties (PRP) are conducting the investigation due to the presence of dioxane confirmed in samples collected in January from numerous monitoring wells. Sampling of private wells near the site is included in the ongoing groundwater investigation.
Dioxane is an “emerging contaminant” that may cause adverse health effects. Emerging contaminants often eluded early detection in the past because the analytical instruments and scientific methods available were not sensitive enough to detect them. Until recently, it was not possible to confidently detect or measure dioxane in groundwater, and there are no published federal cleanup standards for it.
Dioxane is a widely used, synthetic industrial chemical present in paint strippers, dyes, greases, antifreeze, and in some consumer products like deodorants, shampoos and cosmetics. It was heavily used as a solvent stabilizer in manufacturing. In recent years, dioxane has been commonly found at Superfund sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents and at septic or hospital waste disposal sites.
Preliminary data from private well samples collected in April show unacceptable levels of 1,4- dioxane at several properties in Stark County close to the Stark/Summit County line. Based on the data, EPA directed the PRPs to immediately provide bottled water to the impacted residents and initiate hookups to the municipal water supply. Residents on municipal water are not affected by the possible presence of 1,4 dioxane. The potential only applies to those residents that have private wells. On Wednesday, May 11, the EPA reached out to the City of Green to notify them that the EPA is continuing their investigation and testing of wells in the area west and northwest of the Industrial Excess Landfill Superfund site in Uniontown, east of Cleveland Avenue. The area of concern is located in the Northeast area of Green clustered around Route 619 near the Stark County line.
EPA staff accompanied by environmental health specialists from Summit County Public Health (SCPH) will be reaching out this week to residents in the affected area to set up a time to come out and take free well water samples to be sent for testing. EPA staff is also canvasing residential areas west of the site known to have private wells to sample the water. If you are a Uniontown or Green resident who has received a fact sheet on 1,4-dioxane in the mail and have a private well on your property, please contact the EPA to discuss well usage and the need for potential sampling.
Once the EPA determines the extent of the contamination in groundwater, a risk assessment will be conducted to determine whether dioxane concentrations pose a current or potential risk to residents living near the site. The EPA will review the results of the investigation and risk assessment and determine if changes to the current cleanup plan for the site are warranted.
The EPA is the lead response agency overseeing the sampling of the groundwater at the Industrial Excess Landfill Superfund Site, if you are a community member with questions please direct them to Ruth Muhtsun, Community Involvement Coordinator at (312) 886-6595. SCPH will be providing support to the EPA by accompanying them while they test the wells and answering questions regarding recommendations for well mitigation. Question that involve well mitigation or maintenance should be directed to SCPH to Ali Rogalski, Water Quality Manager, at (330)926-5639. The Ohio Department of Health has established a hotline to address your health related questions at (614) 728-9452. The City of Green will continue to provide updates to residents as they become available at www.cityofgreen.org.
Please visit www.scph.org for additional information.
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