EPA recommends $6M clean-up plan for site

TROY — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to clean up the West Troy Contaminated Aquifer site, which was contaminated by a former auto businesses in the area of North Elm Street and Treasure Island Park.

The EPA said volatile organic compounds or VOCs are the chemicals of concern. Tetrachloroethene or PCE is the primary VOC detected in the groundwater plume beginning in 1986. A city well in the area already is equipped with an air stripper pre-treatment system for the well water before it goes to the water treatment plant.

According to the EPA, “The city of Troy operates an air stripper to pre-treat the groundwater obtained from production well (P-12W) to remove VOCs before the water enters the city’s water treatment plant and distribution system. This pre-treatment of low-level VOC contamination provides an extra factor of safety before the water enters the City of Troy treatment plant.”

City of Troy Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington said, “Troy’s water continues to be very safe to drink. We test all of our finished water very frequently and our quality exceeds the Ohio EPA’s standards.”

The city of Troy is not paying for any of the cleanup, which will be done by the federal and state agencies, Titterington said.

The EPA has proposed a treatment plan that would span three years and cost $5.93 million. According to the EPA, “This plan would involve injecting microorganisms, dextrose (a sugar to feed the microorganisms) and oxygen, if necessary, into the groundwater to break down the contamination. This process of using oxygen would also inhibit compounds that break down the contamination anaerobically (without oxygen). This is helpful because anaerobic breakdown of contamination can produce other contaminants like vinyl chloride. Monitoring wells would be installed to determine if the contamination is decreasing. Institutional controls would also be placed to restrict land and groundwater use in affected areas until cleanup levels have been reached.”

The EPA’s recommendation includes connecting the building at the 500 block of North Elm Street property to the city of Troy municipal water system. Because the property is outside the city limits, the property would have to be annexed by the city to allow for the connection to city water. The private well would then need to be plugged and abandoned. The cost is approximately $47,000 and would take one month to complete.

Another recommendation from the EPA would involve using institutional controls limiting land and groundwater use. This recommendation would require monitoring for potential vapor intrusion if residential buildings are built in the contaminated areas. Future developers would be responsible for vapor intrusion monitoring and installing any vapor mitigation systems if needed. General site monitoring, inspections and reporting would take place to ensure compliance with the institutional controls. It would take two months to complete and cost approximately $105,000.

The city of Troy obtains its public water supply from two well fields. The West Troy Contaminated Aquifer (WTCA) Site relates to the city of Troy West Well Field. There is also a city of Troy East Well Field, which is associated with a different EPA Superfund Site called the East Troy Contaminated Aquifer (ETCA) Site.

According to the EPA, the next step of the process is to provide a Record of Decision that documents the US EPA and Ohio EPA selected remedy. EPA will then complete a remedial design of the selected remedy and implement the remedy when funding is obtained.

For more information, visit the EPA’s WTCA site website at www.epa.gov/superfund/west-troy-aquifer or contact EPA Site representatives listed on the website for additional questions.