Bruce and Rod's Tire Factory/Dean's Tires - Parma
Assessment activities funded by the Brownfield Program allowed DEQ to issue a "Closure Letter" for this property. The Closure Letter allowed the current tenants to secure financing to purchase the property, and to continue operating five businesses on the property, rather than creating blight by moving to a new location outside Parma.
Looking to Bruce and Rod's Tire Factory across Grove St.
The property sits at the intersection of Grove and 8th Streets in the center of the City of Parma 's commercial district along Highway 20. The current tenants operate five businesses on this property (tire service, auto service, car wash, U-Haul rental, and propane service).
Former owners operated the property as a gasoline service station and, in 1988, discovered petroleum contamination on the property. The owners later declared bankruptcy, preventing any further assessment activities. New tenants continued to operate the site as an auto service and tire service facility, expanded the business, and were interested in purchasing the property. The tenants were unable to secure financing to purchase the property due to environmental concerns. Consequently, the tenants planned to move their business to a different town, leaving behind vacant, blighted property, and taking important local business operations with them. The City of Parma asked DEQ to complete assessment work under the Brownfields Program to avoid the creation of blight in downtown Parma and to preserve the presence of local businesses along Parma's main commercial and transportation corridor.
In 1998, the former owners removed three gasoline/diesel underground storage tanks (USTs) with a combined capacity of 19,000 gallons. Soil and ground water samples collected at the time indicated the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil and ground water. As stated above, the former operators declared bankruptcy and were no longer able to pay for ongoing environmental activities at the property. For years, the environmental concerns remained unaddressed.
In 2003, DEQ installed three monitoring wells to track changes in ground water quality. Monitoring data showed petroleum concentrations in ground water continuing to decrease below the EPA maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. However, DEQ, lenders, and potential purchasers maintained concerns the property was a continuing source of petroleum contamination. Accordingly, further assessment activities were needed to quantify and address environmental concerns at the site.
Excavation showing contaminated soil
Site Investigation Process
In October 2004, the Brownfields Program funded assessment activities at the property, conducted by DEQ's contractor, Millennium Science and Engineering (MSE). While digging test pits for soil sampling, MSE unearthed the source of the continuing ground water contamination. MSE excavated the petroleum-contaminated soils and hauled them off site to a permitted landfill facility. MSE collected confirmation soil and ground water samples, installed ground water monitoring wells, and produced a final report of the assessment activities after regrading the site. Additional rounds of ground water sampling confirmed removal of the source of ground water contamination. Based on the sampling results, in June 2005, DEQ issued a letter of closure for the site.
Due to the completed assessment and the letter of closure issued by DEQ, the tenants were able to secure financing to purchase the property, and the five businesses operating at Bruce and Rod's Tire Factory will continue to serve the city of Parma and surrounding rural communities. Absent DEQ's Brownfield efforts, the tenants would likely have vacated the property, leaving the city of Parma with a petroleum-impacted, vacant, blighted property on its only thoroughfare.
Cooperation between the City of Parma, DEQ, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the former owner, and former tenants (now current owners) led to the successful closure of a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) site, the retention of business for Parma, and the avoidance of blight.