The Nekoosa Packaging Corp. site is located at 2850 Owens Road near U.S. Route 23 south of Circleville, Ohio, in Pickaway County. In the past, the site was owned by Owens-Illinois Forest Products, but is now owned by Georgia-Pacific Corp.
The facility began operations in 1964. It produces corrugated boxes for various retail companies. The manufacturing processes have produced corn starch wastes since 1964. Prior to 1980, inks used for printing were historically solvent-based and contained pigments with high concentrations of lead and chromium. After 1980, these inks were phased out and replaced by water-based, low lead inks. Non-contact boiler and cooling water wastes are also generated at the plant. From 1964 to 1988, these wastes were discharged to two unlined waste lagoons on the facility property. In 1980, between 1,000 and 2,000 cubic yards of sludge were removed from the lagoons. The facility continued to discharge process waters and sanitary wastes (due to plugging of the leach field) to the lagoons until 1988. By 1987, the plant and Ohio EPA agreed on establishing a sanitary waste leach field and trucking all process wastes to the Circleville Sewage Treatment Plant. In response to a 1988 inspection by the Division of Surface Water (DSW), the facility was ordered to cease discharges to the lagoons and to close the lagoons. Site investigations were completed by the company between 1989 and 1992. Primary contaminants identified in the sludge were lead and chromium with low concentrations of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. To assist DSW in the implementation of lagoon closure, the Division of Emergency & Remedial Response (DERR) negotiated a source control interim action (SCIA) consent order with Georgia-Pacific, which was journalized on Jan. 9, 1995.
The investigation to characterize the nature and extent of contamination in the lagoons was completed in 1995. The results of the investigation determined that remedial action was needed to address the elevated lead levels in the pond sludge. Ground water was not impacted by contaminants in the pond sludge. DERR approved the characterization and selected remedy on March 25, 1996.
The selected remedy consisted of stabilization and removal of lead sludge and disposal at a solid waste landfill. All contaminated sludge was removed from the lagoons and they were back-filled with clean soil. The surface of the lagoons was re-contoured and seeded with grass. The remedy was implemented in October and November 1996. DERR approved the final construction completion report on Jan. 8, 1997. Order termination, with reservation of rights, was granted in a May 15, 1998, letter to Georgia-Pacific.
Because all contaminated sludge was removed from the lagoons, the risk to human health or the environment through exposure pathways no longer exists. At this time, the Ohio EPA anticipates no further actions at the former Nekoosa Packaging site.
Summary date: February 2002