Environmental Response and Revitalization Site Summary

Radio Corp. of America (RCA)

Radio Corp. of America (RCA) began operations in early 1970 at the 230-acre manufacturing facility located at 24200 U.S. Route 23 South in Circleville, Ohio, in Pickaway County. In 1986, RCA merged with the General Electric Co. (GE). The facility was acquired by Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc. (Thomson) in 1987. Thomson operated the Circleville facility from 1987 to 2004. The facility produced glass components for television picture tubes. The glass in these picture tubes contained lead to reduce X-ray emissions from the picture tube.

Thomson announced the cessation of their glass manufacturing operations on March 30, 2004, and officially closed the facility on June 15, 2004. In September 2005, Thomson began the demolition of the existing factory buildings and completed the demolition in 2006. The warehouse storage building and a small office building remain on site. In 2007, the Praxair oxygen facility ceased operation at the area they leased in the northeast corner of the property. On April 3, 2008, Thomson sold the entire 230-acre former manufacturing facility to IRG Circleville, LLC and Circleville Pickaway, LLC.

Prior to 1980, glass polishing and grinding materials (fines) were carried in the manufacturing operation's rinse water into two unlined lagoons for settling. This water contained arsenic, chromium, fluoride and lead. The settled solids (sludge) were pumped out of the lagoons four times per year to three unlined earthen sludge pits, covering 2 acres east of the plant. These pits were covered with approximately 2 feet of clean soil in October 1980. The pit area (aka the East Fenced Area) was enclosed with a fence in 1989 to control access and possible exposure to the sludge deposits. Sludge that accumulated between 1980 and 1982 in the two settling lagoons, during the construction of the on-site wastewater treatment plant, was disposed at an offsite landfill. These settling lagoons were "RCRA clean-closed" in 1982 and 1984. In 1988, soils near the lagoons were removed and disposed off-site. U.S. EPA approved the clean-closure of these settling lagoons in July 1990.

When in operation, the facility discharged approximately 1 million gallons per day of cooling rinse waters into the on-site drainage ditch system, which fed into the Scioto River under an Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Soil samples and sediment samples from the on-site drainage ditches (East Drainage Swale and South Ditch) and in the off-site creek area (OCA) found elevated levels of arsenic, chromium, lead and hydrocarbons.

During facility operations, the raw material handling area (RMHA) consisted of open and covered concrete pads, a batch house used for the storage and handling of raw materials and a hazardous waste storage building (HWSB). The HWSB was used as a 90-day accumulation area for the hazardous wastes generated from the glass manufacturing process including: baghouse dust, furnace checker particulates and floor sweepings. The HWSB was clean closed under RCRA Interim Status in 1985. Soils in the vicinity of the HWSB were removed in 1988 and disposed off-site. The HWSB received “RCRA clean-closure” approval by U.S. EPA in 1992.

The oil skimmer pond was removed from service in 1990. In 1992, soils and sludge were excavated from the pond’s bottom and sides to approximately 10 feet below the ground surface and were disposed offsite as part of an interim removal action.

On Feb. 14, 1994, Ohio EPA signed an administrative consent order with GE and Thomson to perform a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). In August 1995, Ohio EPA approved the RI/FS work plan for the site. The RI activities were completed in accordance with the RI/FS work plan (1995 original and 1997 amendment) and approved by Ohio EPA. The areas investigated during this RI included the East Fenced Area (the former sludge pits), the adjacent fields, the East Drainage Swale, the Former Oil Skimmer Pond, the South Ditch and the OCA.

In October 2002, GE collected 113 soil/sediment samples from various depths at 17 different sampling locations in the OCA adjacent to the railroad tracks. Then GE excavated soil and sediment from a select portion of the OCA from Nov. 13, 2002, to Dec. 12, 2002, under an interim action of the RI. This interim action included the removal of approximately 530 cubic yards of soil/sediment and the installation of 64 feet of 54-inch diameter concrete drainage pipe to extend the existing culvert. The 1,560 tons of waste materials (including the excavated soil) were disposed of as a RCRA-regulated hazardous waste in Belleville, Michigan.

On Sept. 15, 2003, GE began the collection of soil/sediment samples from the South Ditch and the OCA. Because of heavy rains and flooding in late September/early October delaying entry into the OCA, this soil and sediment sampling event was not completed until Oct. 17, 2003. After reviewing these sampling results, GE proposed to collect additional soil/sediment samples northwest of the OCA from the adjacent farm field. On Dec. 10, 2003, the additional sampling event was completed.

On Sept. 9, 2005, GE submitted a work plan to investigate total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contamination. They completed the investigation in December 2005. The TPH Supplemental Investigation Report was submitted to Ohio EPA on Feb. 21, 2006. GE conducted supplemental sediment sampling for biotoxicity testing as part of the ecological assessment in May and June 2007.

The RI Report was approved by Ohio EPA on March 16, 2010. The RI determined that the primary contaminants of concern at the site were antimony, arsenic and lead. The major health and environmental risks associated with the areas of concern at this site stem from potential ingestion of and/or direct contact with contaminated soil and sediment.

On Dec. 16, 2011, Technicolor USA, Inc. (formerly Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.) submitted a supplemental site investigation work plan for additional soil sampling at the former RMHA. Ohio EPA approved the work plan on Feb. 7, 2012. In March 2012, Technicolor collected soil samples from soil borings at selected locations in the RMHA. The sample results found arsenic and lead in the soil. On Aug. 2, 2012, the Ohio EPA approved the Supplemental Site Investigation Report for the former RMHA/HWSB and surrounding area.

On Jan. 12, 2012, an environmental covenant was recorded on the property’s deed to restrict land use on portions of the site impacted by the former manufacturing operations.

On Jan. 24, 2012, Ohio EPA issued amended final findings and orders to GE and Technicolor USA, Inc. (formerly Thomson Consumer Electronics, Inc.), which removed two tracts (totaling approximately 45 acres) from the original 230-acre site as defined in the 1994 administrative consent order.

On Nov. 13, 2012, Ohio EPA approved the Revised Interim Remedial Action Objectives (RAO) Report, which presented a summary of the RAOs developed for the site based on the investigations results. On Aug. 21, 2013, Ohio EPA approved the FS Report, which described the identified potential remedial alternatives for the site.

On Feb. 25, 2014, Ohio EPA issued a Preferred Plan, which identified the selected clean-up of the contaminated soils and sediment at the former RCA site. The Preferred Plan summarized the site’s history and investigation of contamination, evaluated the remedial alternatives and outlined Ohio EPA’s preferred alternative for the clean-up.


RCA - North part of the main mfg. facility looking east

Photograph 1: North part of the main manufacturing facility, looking east, Nov. 14, 2002.

RCA - South part of the main manufacturing facility, looking east

Photograph 2: South part of the main manufacturing facility, looking east, Nov. 14, 2002.

Photograph 3: Removal of soil and sediment at the off-site creek area (OCA), Nov. 14, 2002.

Summary date: March 2014