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Franklin County Convention Facility Authority – Convention Hotel Site

Columbus, OH

A limited Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was conducted by EMH&T following a Phase I ESA that identified this property was formerly used as the “North Graveyard” from about 1813 until about 1872. The potential environmental impacts of the property use as a graveyard were largely associated with the possible release of embalming fluids into the surrounding soils. From about 1850 through closure of the graveyard in the early 1870s, and until it was banned around 1910, arsenic, a toxic metal now regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, was the primary embalming fluid used to preserve corpses for burial. In more recent years, the site was utilized as a parking garage and, subsequent to the demolition of that structure in the late 1970s, a paved surface parking lot. Such usage had the potential to have resulted in the surface release of petroleum fuels and/or automotive fluids into site soils. The limited Phase II ESA revealed no environmental concerns that would likely pose a human health hazard or a concern to future construction or demolition activities on the subject property. The observed concentrations of arsenic in subsurface materials on the site, although in excess of the VAP generic standard for single chemical direct contact in a residential setting, were not suggestive of significant contamination as the result of any historical anthropogenic activities, It was noted that much of Ohio’s native soils naturally exceed this generic standard as a consequence of the common occurrence of arsenic-containing minerals in these soils.

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