PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) is located at 559 Pittsburgh Road of Circleville, Ohio, in Pickaway County. Operations began in 1962 to produce resins used in the manufacture of paints. Resins are shipped to other PPG locations where they are combined with pigments and additives to produce architectural, automotive, beverage can and industrial paints or coatings.
On Dec. 21, 1989, PPG entered into an administrative consent order with the Ohio EPA to address historical releases of contamination into the environment associated with facility operations. PPG completed a remedial investigation (RI) in 1991 and 1996 to characterize the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to evaluate risks to human health and the environment. The RI evaluated off-property contamination in Scippo Creek and various areas on the facility property.
Scippo Creek sediments were impacted by releases of PCBs from a heat-exchange system that migrated through a storm water sewer line that discharged to the creek. From 1987 to 1990, PPG removed PCB-contaminated soil at the plant and PCB-contaminated sediment from Scippo Creek. An ecological assessment completed for the 1996 RI report indicated that the stream displays a healthy and diverse ecosystem and is attaining its warm water habitat use designation. In addition, a risk assessment indicated that residual contaminants in sediment do not pose a threat to human health or the environment. In November 1996, a no further action decision document was issued for the Scippo Creek portion of the PPG site.
The 1996 RI evaluated 17 areas on the PPG site. Contaminants identified in soils and ground water included the compounds ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, PCBs (specifically Aroclor-1248) and 1,4 dioxane. The major source of ground water contamination was the former wastewater infiltration ponds (PSA-1). These ponds no longer act as a source of contaminants to ground water as a result of upgrades and their closure in 1980. Only 1,4 dioxane has migrated off the PPG property via ground water. A baseline risk assessment indicated that 15 of the 17 areas do not pose risks to human health or the environment, and no further action is required at these areas. A decision document completed in June 2000 defined the remedial actions to be completed at the two remaining areas: the buried pond residue area and the off-property ground water plume.
The residue area will be addressed through a use restriction and engineering controls. The off-property ground water plume of 1,4 dioxane was contained under a pumping agreement with the neighboring E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) located 3,000 feet down gradient to the west. However, a decrease in the pumping rate of DuPont wells and the general proximity of the Earnhart Hills public water system wells resulted in a decision to install two additional pumping wells to intercept the plume and expedite ground water cleanup. PPG applied for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge water from these wells to the Scioto River. The Ohio EPA held public hearings on this proposed permit in Circleville on Oct. 23, 2003, and Feb. 12, 2004. Ohio EPA prepared a responsiveness summary addressing public comments. Ground water modeling conducted by PPG using the previous pumping scenario indicated that cleanup levels may be attained in 10 to 20 years. Revised modeling, with the new wells, reduces that estimate to eight years. Institutional controls are also being utilized to control ground water use in the area of the off-property plume.
Currently, PPG, under Ohio EPA oversight, is implementing the engineering/institutional controls at the buried residue area and conducting all necessary performance monitoring of the off-property plume.
During 2006, PPG performed a five-year review to evaluate the effectiveness of the on-going remedies and assess whether or not the original clean-up level remains protective of human health and the environment. PPG submitted a final five-year review work plan on May 2, 2006, detailing the work to be performed and and a final report on Aug. 1, 2011. During 2011, PPG prepared a second five-year review. The second final work plan was also submitted on Aug. 1, 2011.
During the May 2011 round of ground water sampling, PPG found that only one well, located west of the PPG plant, had a 1,4 dioxane concentration exceeding the 35 ug/l cleanup level. Also, during November 2012, PPG installed two additional ground water recovery wells to protect the Earnhart Hill public water system wells from concentrations below 35 ug/l detected downgradient of the two existing recovery wells. These two additional wells also utilize the existing NPDES permit for discharge.
Documents relating to the investigation and remedial action at the site are currently available for review at the Pickaway County Public Library, located at 1160 N. Court St., Circleville, Ohio.
Arrangements to review the documents at Ohio EPA’s Central District Office can be made by contacting Lisa Oltman by mail at Ohio EPA-CDO, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216 – 1049), by telephone at (614) 728-07930, or by email at Lisa.Oltman@epa.ohio.gov. Internet links to several documents are also provided below.
Photograph 1: General view of facility, July 15, 2004.
Summary date: January 2012