CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Ohio EPA Accepts Comments on Cleanup at Former Industrial Site in Belmont County

Ohio EPA is accepting public comments about the ongoing cleanup project at the former Gould Manufacturing facility, located on U.S. Route 40 near Lansing in Bridgeport (Belmont County). Another review of the cleanup project is currently underway and a report is expected in September 2012. Therefore, Ohio EPA recommends that anyone wishing to make comments about the cleanup do so by June 30, 2012, so that the company can address concerns in its September report.

From 1965 to 1987, the former Gould-Bridgeport facility manufactured bearings for engines. As a result of the manufacturing processes, industrial wastes were released to various areas of the site. A solvent release from an underground line and disposal of solvents and metal sludges resulted in contamination of soil and ground water at the site.

Ohio EPA’s General Cleanup and Review Process

When Ohio EPA suspects that soil and/or ground water at a site is contaminated with hazardous wastes, the director can order the responsible party to investigate the nature and extent of contamination and develop cleanup proposals. After the investigation is approved by Ohio EPA, the Agency reviews the cleanup proposals and issues a preferred cleanup plan. After all public comments are considered, Ohio EPA determines the final cleanup plan and orders the responsible party to conduct that work.

In its oversight role, Ohio EPA reviews a company’s cleanup actions every five years at sites where hazardous waste remains. The five-year review is to determine if cleanup activities remain effective and protective of human health and the environment. This is the second five-year review of the Gould-Bridgeport site.

Gould-Bridgeport Site Cleanup

Between 2002 and 2003, two free-product recovery wells were installed. The first five-year review demonstrated that the free-product recovery system met its shutdown criteria; the system was shut down in 2009. Waste material and soils contaminated with metals (e.g., lead, copper and arsenic) were excavated and disposed of off-site. A ground water treatment system installed in 2004 has removed more than 2,000 pounds of solvent contaminant (primarily trichloroethene or TCE). As a result, the contaminated area appears to be reduced in size. More than 300 trees also were planted to assist in contaminant removal; they are now mature and successfully removing contaminants from the ground water. Additionally, periodic ground water, surface water and sediment monitoring of Wheeling Creek is used to evaluate clean-up progress.

Periodic Reviews of Gould-Bridgeport Cleanup Work and Access to Information

The first five-year review of the Gould-Bridgeport site in 2007 showed that these remedial actions were effective in 1) reducing solvent contamination in soil and ground water at the site and 2) reducing the potential for exposure to solvents at the site.

The second five-year review is scheduled for completion by September 30, 2012. Ohio EPA recommends that the public submit questions or comments by June 30, 2012, to Kristin Vanecko at (740) 380-5271 or via e-mail at Ohio EPA will share with the company the public’s concerns and also may require that certain concerns be addressed in the company’s report due in September. Comments received after this time also will be considered, but may not be able to be addressed in the company’s September report. The results of the review will be summarized in a report and reviewed by Ohio EPA. Following Ohio EPA’s review, the report will be made available at the Bridgeport Public Library, 661 Main St.

Questions and Comments

Information about the investigation, cleanup and review of remedial work at the site also can be reviewed at Ohio EPA’s Southeast District Office (2195 Front St. in Logan) by first calling (740) 385-8501 to set up an appointment.