Ohio EPA will explain renewal of Cytec permit

It’s been 10 years since the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued a hazardous waste permit requiring Cytec Industries to clean up the company’s 54-acre former industrial site on Greene Street in Marietta. Cytec manufactured specialty chemicals there until the company ceased its Marietta operations in 1996.

On Tuesday, agency officials will hold an informational meeting and public hearing in Marietta on the renewal of Cytec’s permit, which, by Ohio law, has to be renewed once every decade.

“The panel will explain the history of the permit process and will take comments about the hazardous waste permit. Anyone is welcome to attend and submit an oral or written comment or just listen in on the hearing,” said Heather Lauer, spokeswoman for the agency’s central and southeastern Ohio district.

She said both oral and written comments will receive equal weight when being considered by the Ohio EPA’s Division of Materials and Waste Management.

“But the only comments we can consider are those specifically related to the Cytec hazardous waste permit renewal,” Lauer explained.

Since the original permit was issued in 2004, the company has cleaned out and capped two storage ponds and excavated several landfills and disposal areas as well as removed some contaminated soil and piping from the site.

A final modification of Cytec’s hazardous waste permit was issued by the Ohio EPA in 2011 with additional site cleanup remedies proposed by the agency, including the lining and additional capping of a remaining landfill as well as installation of a berm along one end of the landfill to prevent water infiltration during floods.

Ohio EPA has also proposed long-term monitoring of the landfill cap and of stream sediment in nearby Duck Creek through the 2011 modified permit.

In June of last year the former location of two Cytec buildings was capped, which included a concrete storage bay and concrete tank saddle at the north end of the site. Chemicals that primarily included nitrobenzene and DDT had been detected there in 2002, according to the Ohio EPA.

Since then the sites of two more ponds have been cleaned and capped on the front end of the property and a much larger remediation project will begin this fall to seal off the landfill area at the industrial site as proposed by the Ohio EPA’s modification permit.

Tree and grass planting has also begun at the site, according to Marietta Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp, who attends regular sessions of a community focus group formed in 2011 to help facilitate an ongoing dialogue with Cytec related to cleanup efforts at the site.

“Trees are being planted, as well as grasses that were specially selected by the late Marilyn Ortt,” Hupp said.

Ortt, who died in May, was a leading member of the Marietta Tree Commission and an avid supporter of environmental restoration throughout the local community.

Ken Milo, Cytec’s project manager for the remediation project, said the company is committed to continuing remediation of the site.

“We did a lot of planting in the existing wetlands area of the site a few weeks back,” he said. “And in September and October we’ll be moving ahead with plans to re-cap the landfill, including the installation of a clay slurry wall to prevent groundwater infiltration. That project will take about six to eight weeks to complete, but residents should only see a little truck traffic at the site during that time.”

Milo said the next step will be the installation of a groundwater collection system at the site in 2015.

“Groundwater will be channeled into basins we have installed there and then pumped to Marietta’s wastewater treatment plant,” he said.

Milo said progress of the remediation effort is being inspected quarterly by the Ohio EPA.

Hupp said Cytec’s remediation of the site will be a long-term ongoing project, but the company is marketing some areas of the property for development.

“There are two buildings already on the site, but a parking lot and pole buildings could be constructed as long as it would not disturb the capped locations,” he said. “It would be a great location for the oil and gas industry to develop for equipment storage.”

Mary Green with Ann Green Communications in Charleston, W.Va., began facilitating the community focus group in 2011. The 20-some-member group includes local citizens and business owners in addition to city and county officials and Cytec representatives.

“We’ve been meeting regularly, but the sessions are usually scheduled as progress moves forward on the project,” she said. “We also publish a quarterly newsletter to keep the community neighboring the site up to date with the project.”

A copy of the newsletter is available as part of an entire repository about the Cytec remediation project at the Washington County Public Library on Fifth Street in Marietta, and Hupp said the latest edition will be posted on the city’s mariettaoh.net website.

Green said the next newsletter will be out before Labor Day.

The next meeting of the focus group will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. Green said the public is welcome, but asked that anyone planning to attend contact her at 1-800-784-4343 so that enough seating can be provided.