EPA to hold meeting in Clark County tonight to update clean up at Tremont City Barrel Fill

SPRINGFIELD — The Environmental Protection Agency will be hosting a meeting to update the community on their upcoming work on the clean-up at Tremont City Barrel Fill in Clark County.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Springfield City Commission reaches agreement to clean up Tremont Barrel Fill

The site was used to dispose of industrial waste in the late 1970s.

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz said the meeting will be held at Northwestern High School tonight at 6 p.m. at the 5700 block of Troy Road.

Last year, News Center 7 previously reported the Springfield City Commission reached an agreement to clean up toxic waste at the Tremont barrel Fill.

The EPA will oversee the field sampling that’s needed to clean up the site.

>>RELATED: Springfield City Commissioner: Toxic barrel fill site is an ‘outrage’

Hershovitz said it will take about five weeks and includes everything from assessing groundwater wells to taking soil samples.

News Center 7 was at the city commission meeting in March 2022 and spoke to Laura Kaffenbarger, who lives about a mile away from the toxic landfill in the 1970′s.

“Of course, I didn’t know there was anything like that there,” Laura Kaffenbarger, Citizens for Water, told News Center 7 last year.

That was until 1979 when she began smelling a chlorine-like smell when folding clothes in her basement. After that, she quickly learned that the EPA approved the landfill that had 50 waste cells underground. According to the EPA, those 50 cells held more than a million gallons of toxins. The toxins include glue, resins, paint, detergents, asbestos, and oils.

In 1997, the EPA confirmed that those toxins were eating away at the container holding them and could soon leak into the ground.

“No one’s really comfortable with just sitting on that threat, we know it’s a problem. The EPA has done testing, they know some of the chemicals that are in there. One of the things about this landfill though is that we have a pretty good idea of what’s in those 50 different cells.” Chris Cook, assistant health commissioner of the Clark County Combined Health District said.

Hershovitz reported the start of the clean-up process has been decades in the making.

“No one’s really comfortable sitting on that threat, we know it’s a problem,” said Cook. “The EPA’s done testing. They know the chemicals are in there.”

The clean-up is estimated to cost $20 million.