The parking lot of a popular Central Ohio grocery store has a massive hole in it tonight, dug up by orders from the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 2009, soil contaminated with a solvent used in the dry cleaning industry, was dug up at Upper Arlington’s Kingsdale Shopping Center. The soil was then moved to another part of the property and reburied, according to the EPA.
“What you see here today was not here last Wednesday or last Thursday it has just materialized at the end of last week. And yet the problem has been here maybe five or seven years,” said John Ross, an Upper Arlington resident who has been following the situation in his town.
The problem is contamination.
RELATED ARTICLE: Kingsdale Company Begins Cleaning Contaminated Lot
Before there was a large grocery store at Kingsdale, there was a Swan Cleaners.
There was also tetrachloroethylen, a dry cleaning solvent, that ended up in the ground and the groundwater.
Research has shown that the solvent can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease nine fold, as well as cause cancer.
The EPA filed a violation against Echo/Continental Kingsdale LLC., the developer of the property in 2012.
They have an office on East Broad Street in Columbus, but NBC4 was unable to contact them Monday. The Ohio EPA says it was an engineering firm that reburied the contaminated dirt.
“When they started to redevelop the shopping center, they just pushed all of that contamination from the Swan Cleaners from the west and to the east wrapped it up in orange construction fencing and dumped it in a hole and called that a fix” said Ross.
According to EPA documentation, that’s pretty accurate.
The engineering firm excavated contaminated soil and put it into another area of the parking lot.
If blacktop was a rug, the dirty dirt was swept underneath.
It was moved from one area to another.
Now, it’s all being excavated, six years later, and put into contamination tubs to be hauled away.