Companies Settle On Superfund Cleanup

It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

Twenty-five companies will pay the federal government $1.7 million in past costs and $840,000 in natural resources damages to finish the design and conduct the cleanup of the Fields Brook Superfund site in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Under terms of the agreement with the EPA and the Justice Department, the companies also will pay for and manage the cleanup of contaminated soils and sediments at the site and provide long-term monitoring and maintenance of a landfill to be built at the site. Total costs for the remedy design and cleanup are estimated at $25 million to $30 million, according to the EPA.

The settlement companies, which includes two government agencies, will build the landfill, beginning in spring 2000, to hold the contaminated soil and sediment to be removed from the Superfund site. A small amount of sediment from the brook with higher levels of PCBs will go off-site to a commercial incinerator, said project coordinator Joe Heimbuch of DeMaximis in Sarasota, Fla.

Discharges and runoff have contaminated the site with PCBs, chlorinated benzenes and solvents, low-level radionuclides and other hazardous substances. Some industrial areas near the stream still are contaminated. Before the main cleanup begins, these "source control" areas of the site are to be cleaned up.

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