Environmental Response and Revitalization Site Summary

Rockwell International Corp.

The Rockwell International, On Highway Products site is located on Hebron Road (state Route 79) in northern Heath, Ohio in Licking County. The facility was built in 1951 to manufacture heavy duty truck axles for military vehicles. In 1997, Rockwell International Corp. re-organized, and the Heath facility became Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems, LLC and is owned by ArvinMeritor, Inc.

From 1951-1985, wastewater from the manufacturing processes was discharged to a series of four unlined infiltration lagoons. The lighter hydrocarbon-based oil was separated and recovered; the heavier solvents, metals and oil fractions sank to the bottom and formed a layer of sludge. From 1986-88, the sludge was removed, solidified with kiln dust and disposed of at a solid waste landfill. The lagoons were back-filled with clean fill. In addition to the lagoons, industrial waste and construction debris was dumped on the eastern part of the property. This waste material consists of oily metal grindings and filings, machinery pieces, crushed drums, wire, construction debris, ash and fabrics. The total area of the waste fill is approximately 5 acres, with an average thickness of 13 feet.

During the 1980s, Rockwell evaluated the ground water and found that it was contaminated with several chlorinated ethenes and petroleum-related constituents. In 1990, Rockwell signed an Administrative Order on Consent with Ohio EPA to complete a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). The RI was completed in 1996. Results indicate the soil and ground water is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and inorganics (metals and cyanide). A ground water plume of vinyl chloride and cis 1,2 dichloroethene extends for approximately 1,000 feet from the lagoons and to a depth of 30 feet below the top of the water table. The total surface area of the plume is approximately 34 acres. The RI also found a pool of light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) occurs in the upper ground water aquifer beneath the lagoons. The LNAPL consists of a mixture of hydrocarbon oil, PCBs, and chlorinated solvents. In 1993, an LNAPL recovery system was installed and approximately 7,500 gallons were recovered as of June 2003. 

From 1995-2000, Rockwell conducted bench-scale and pilot-scale treatability studies of enhanced anaerobic reductive dechlorination as a possible remediation method. The electron donor used for this study was molasses. The pilot system extracted ground water, amended it with molasses and other nutrients and then re-injected the mixture into the aquifer. Results indicate complete destruction of vinyl chloride achieved in the circulation cell. 

Ohio EPA approved the Feasibility Study on March 8, 2002, and completed the Preferred Plan for the site on Aug. 29, 2002. The public comment period for the Preferred Plan was from Sept. 25, 2002, to Oct. 25, 2002. Ohio EPA issued its Decision Document on March 4, 2003.

Ohio EPA approved the Work Plan for the remedial design and remedial action on May 25, 2004. Pre-design and design work for the ground water remediation system began in June 2004. Ohio EPA approved the design of the ground water remediation system on Sept. 24, 2004. Construction began in October 2004 and was completed in May 2005. Ohio EPA approved the construction completion report on Nov. 1, 2005. The first phase of the ground water clean-up is the removal of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPL). Since May 2005, the system has recovered approximately 4,500 gallons of LNAPL. During the LNAPL recovery period, Meritor is continuing to inject molasses in the ground water at identified source areas and monitor the bioremediation effect on the contaminants of concern.

Ohio EPA approved the final design for the soil cover on Aug. 3, 2006. The soil cover consists of a geomembrane liner, geocomposite draingage, 12-inch soil layer, 6-inch top soil layer, grass vegetative layer and drainage channels. Construction of the soil cover began on Aug. 28, 2006, and was completed on Nov. 14, 2006. Ohio EPA inspected the soil cover on Nov. 28, 2006.

Attachment 1: 2003 RD/RA Administrative Consent Order (includes 2003 Decision Document).

Rockwell 1

Photograph 1: Grading before placement of the geomembrane liner, Sept. 7, 2006.

Rockwell 2

Photograph 2: Placement of the geomembrane liner, Oct. 4, 2006.

Rockwell 3

Photograph 3: Placement of the soil cover over the geomembrane liner, Oct. 25, 2006.

Rockwell 4

Photograph 4: Final soil cover, Nov. 14, 2006.

Summary date: February 2007

For more information on this site, contact:

Fred Myers
Ohio EPA, Central District Office, DERR
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049
(614) 728-3830