Genoa is wrapping up an environmental clean-up that began more than a decade ago.
The village bought the Varouh oil distribution site located at Fourth and Railroad streets behind the old MEP building on Ohio 163 more than 10 years ago. The company, based in Elyria, had closed operations there several years before.
Village Administrator Kevin Gladden said several agencies operated from the site and the village had an underground tank there, which it removed in the 1980s.
However, when the village purchased the property, apparently all the paperwork was not in order for any other remediation that had taken place earlier to remove any contaminated soil, Gladden explained. The village learned about the problem just over a year and half ago when staff for the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations contacted them and ordered a proper cleanup. The bureau is a division of the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office.
“They did not clear the site from the work that was done in the ‘80s or afterward,” Gladden said. He is also unsure how or why the mix up took this long to uncover.
So the village was charged with the task of fulfilling the necessary mitigation processes.
They hired environmental specialists Hull and Associates to oversee the cleanup plan as well as handle all the testing, before and after excavation, of the soil and filtration systems.
Genoa crews excavated the nearly 600 tons of dirt over the past few weeks.
“We knew where the hot spots were. About 350 tons of material were supposed to be taken out originally,” Gladden said. “It’s a pretty big hole and we back filled with stone.”
That excavated soil will be shipped to a Waste Management Inc. site once all the permits are approved.
In all, the village has spent about $40,000 so far to remedy the problem, Gladden said. Of that, about $28,000 went to Hull and Associates who have been a critical liaison with BUSTR staff.
“We had to go by 1991 regulations which were a lot more stringent than they were when we took care of our tank in the ‘80s,’ Gladden said.
The village also had to pay for an excavator and bulldozer because the village does not have those particular vehicles in its fleet.
He noted a considerable amount of money was saved by using the village workforce as well as its dump trucks.
“Labor and equipment costs can add up fast,” the administrator noted.