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Deal reached to clean-up toxic waste in Clark County

Tremont City Barrel Fill site
Chris Welter
Tremont City Barrel Fill site

The plan comes after residents have been sounding the alarm for years about the potential for water contamination from the site.

A local federal judge has approved a plan to clean up thousands of gallons of toxic industrial waste in Clark County. The consent decree comes after residents have been sounding the alarm for years about the potential for water contamination at the site.

In the late seventies, the Tremont City Barrel Fill was a place where companies like Procter & Gamble and PPG industries buried their unwanted waste. One problem: the landfill is built near the aquifers that supply drinking water to one hundred thousand people in Clark County.

About twenty years ago, the United States Environmental Protection Agency declared the landfill an alternative superfund site and said it needed to be cleaned up. First, a court had to figure out how much the companies who dumped there would have to pay for the clean-up. Those negotiations ended this week and the companies have agreed to pay around 27 million dollars for the cleanup.

Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charlie Patterson had been involved in the negotiations for over twenty years.

"This is legacy. This is monumental,” Patterson said. “What comes out of this consent decree is something that will protect the people of Clark County for 100 years or more."

Under the deal, the liquid waste at the landfill will be removed and relocated. The solid waste will be reburied at the site up to modern standards with a double liner to prevent it from leaking. Patterson estimated it could take up to five years of planning before the remediation process begins.

None of the of the seven companies listed in the deal responded to a request for comment.

Chris Welter is a reporter and corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is the Managing Editor at The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO. Chris got his start in radio in 2017 when he completed a six-month training at the Center for Community Voices. Most recently, he worked as a substitute host and the Environment Reporter at WYSO.