Madison Township water tower

Madison Township trustees decided to encapsulate a contaminated site next to fire station one.

MADISON TOWNSHIP ─ After months of seeking ways and a grant to help clean up a contaminated demolition site, Madison Township decided to encapsulate the area on Monday night, citing the financial concern.

The decision came after a 2-1 vote at the trustees’ meeting.

About 28.4 ppm polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) concentration was found in January at the site next to the fire station on Expressview Drive, according to Certified Environmental, Inc. (CEI).

The amount of PCB was higher than the standard. The township owns the property and hired CEI to sample the soil and assess it. The trustees allowed H&T Demolition, who demolished a building on that property, to cover the contaminated area with heavy-duty plastic while the township tried to secure a state grant with Richland County Land Bank’s assistance.

Chairman Trustee Jim Houser on Monday shared an email with the board from Brownfield Restoration Group, LLC (BRG), who outlined two options for mitigating the contaminant’s impact. The company provided the information at Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s request.  

Houser said the first option is removing all 434 tons of contaminated materials. The estimated cost for excavation, transport, disposal of the substance and a post-remediation analysis is close to $49,000.

Option two is encapsulating the impacted area. Houser said BRG informed him that the township has to put at least a two-foot depth of dirt on top of the contaminated materials before grade and seed and straw the site.  

If the township were to build a new fire station there in the future, Houser said the area must be further encapsulated with either asphalt or concrete.

The chairman trustee said he reached out to H&T and was told the company can encapsulate the area at the cost of about $6,000.

“Six thousand dollars compared to the $49,000 that the other option is … I think it is more than reasonable,” he said.

Trustee Dan Fletcher, who opposed to the motion, said the township’s road department has “a mountain of dirt” which could be used by the contractor. Houser said he will talk to H&T about it but was unsure if that will bring down the cost.

The board later approved sealing the contaminated site. Trustee Catherine Swank said the trustees will look further into how the encapsulation could be done.

Residents raised concern about the higher ground level after the encapsulation causing water to run off on the neighboring property. Houser said the trustees will make sure the work is done correctly so that issue would not happen.

A resident said encapsulating the area is like putting a “band-aid” on the problem instead of fixing it permanently. He said the township might only need to spend the same as the encapsulation would cost to remove the materials with help from the grant.  

Houser said the expense would depend on what type of grant the township could receive. The EPA might not approve the funding since there is a more affordable option.

Support Our Journalism

Our content is free and always will be - but we rely on your support to sustain it. Become a member starting at $5 per month.