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EPA issues final decision on Chevron cleanup

Release Date: 08/31/2006
Contact Information: Kären Thompson, (312) 353-8547 Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218

No. 06-OPA155

CHICAGO (Aug. 31, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has announced its final decision on the cleanup plan for ground water at the former Chevron refinery in Hooven, Ohio.
"We are confident that this plan will protect public health and the Great Miami River from the contaminated ground water," said EPA acting regional administrator Bharat Mathur.

The plan calls for:

  • High-volume pumping of ground water in highly contaminated areas to remove water contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons.
  • Ground-water testing to ensure the contamination has not spread.
  • Following the pumping, allowing natural processes to break down the contaminants. EPA will review progress every five years.
  • Gradual shut-down of the previous pumping well network.
  • Restrictions on ground water use and basement construction on the former refinery property.
  • Restrictions on redevelopment of the site for industrial use only.
  • Continued monitoring of soil gas wells in Hooven.
  • Collecting contaminated vapors (gas) under Hooven on a periodic basis.
  • Barriers to prevent erosion of contaminated material into the Great Miami River.
  • Backup plans if the performance measures are not met.

This plan is one of five EPA considered for addressing contaminated ground water at the former refinery. The proposed plan was explained to the public at a hearing on May 9. EPA reviewed public comments before making its decision and made changes to the proposed plan as a result of those comments.

For instance, in response to public comments, EPA split sampling with Chevron, confirming in EPA's labs that soil gas results show the existence of a clean layer of soil gas about halfway between the ground water surface and the ground surface. This data support EPA's conclusion that residents are not currently exposed to contaminated ground water from the refinery.

Also in response to comments, the frequency of soil-gas sampling over the next two years will be increased and the cleanup time frame estimate increased from 30 to 42 years.

The document called a Final Decision and Response to Comments is available on EPA Region 5's Web page and at the public library in Cleves, Ohio.
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