Nova Chemicals Ltd., a division of Calgary, Alberta-based Nova Corp. Ltd., is cleaning up a former plant site in Copley, Ohio. The Copley plant produced polystyrene from 1971-1990. Nova purchased the plant in 1988 from Polystar. It was closed in 1990.
``It was an older plant and the technological updates made the plant obsolete,'' said Nova spokesman Mark Lesky.
Since 1990, Nova has cleaned and removed factory equipment and everything else that was above ground. The most difficult process has been removing chemicals such as styrene, ethylbenzene and mineral oil from the soil.
When this process is complete early next spring, about 25,000 tons of contaminated soil will be removed and replaced, Lesky said.
``It is not a health threat. It is to protect the ground water. The underlying goal is to protect the environment, protect human health and move the site forward for alternative uses,'' Lesky said. ``We hope to raise the standards to near pre-development levels.''
The contaminated soil will be taken to a Waste Management facility near Toledo, Ohio, one of the first sites to accept soil with these materials.
A bio-remediation process, similar to composting, will be used. Air is blown through the soil and bacteria added to help cleanse the soil. The restored soil will be used for cover material at a landfill near the treatment center.
``The cleanup was a voluntary effort initiated by Nova,'' Lesky said. ``We work closely with [the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and keep them informed. When the cleanup is complete, we will monitor the site for several years.''
Nova is cleaning up several other plants including sites in West Haven, Conn.; Cambridge, Ontario; Leominster, Mass.; and Forest City, N.C. They are subjected to the same risk assessment, testing, dismantling and remediation. It takes about five years for the whole process to be complete at each site, Lesky said.
Nova has not decided if it will lease or sell the Copley property.