Annual groundwater tests scheduled for Superfund site

COLUMBIA CITY — The Columbia City Board of Works and Safety hired Columbus, Ohio-based Burgess & Niple, Inc. to monitor ground water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site located in the city.The federal government intervened decades ago when it learned that millions of gallons of oil-related waste were dumped on the 35-acre site of Wayne Waste Oil, a division of Wayne Reclamation and Recycling, Inc.“We’re responsible for the monitoring of the cleanup,” said Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck.“(Outside Operations Manager) Jeff Walker said we will never live long enough to see it end. They’re (Environmental Protection Agency) projecting 30 to 50 years.” According to the EPA, about 1.4 million gallons of oil related wastes were dumped on the site from 1975 to 1980.“During the company’s period of operation, oil wastes were disposed of on-site by dumping them on surface soils, into unlined pits, and into a trench,” reported the EPA.Since the conclusion of cleanup operations, three five-year reviews have been conducted.“The levels are not very significant,” said Fleck.“But, there are still some contaminants.”According to the agreement between the city and Burgess & Niple, the Oho firm will conduct two semiannual groundwater sampling events in 2011, scheduled for April and October.There are four monitoring wells on the site.At the time the contamination was discovered, the EPA reported the presence of “volatile organic compounds, including benzene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and toluene” in the ground water.The agency also reported that the property’s soil contained compounds which could further contaminate the groundwater.The Blue River borders the site on the east and south.