Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The 129-acre Allied Chemical & Ironton Coke site is in Ironton, Ohio. It consists of a former coke plant and five former lagoons, a former tar plant consisting of a Main Parcel and a River Parcel, parts adjacent to a local stream known as Ice Creek, and a section known as the Goldcamp Disposal Area. Facility operations contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The site was divided into three areas, or Operable Units (OUs), for cleanup; the Goldwater Disposal Area (OU 1), the Coke Plat Lagoon Area (OU2) and the Tar Plant (OU3).

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

U.S. EPA’s cleanup at the site consisted of tearing down a former coke plant, placing protective coverings over disposal areas, converting a former lagoon area into a wetlands ecosystem, digging up and removing contaminated soil and coal from the property, installing a pump-and-treat system for groundwater, long-term monitoring, and limiting the use of and access to the site.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA is currently conducting the fifth five-year review of the site to verify the remedy continues to protect people and the environment. The five-year review is an opportunity for the public to tell EPA about site conditions and any concerns they may have. If you would like to submit any comments, please contact the Community Involvement Coordinator listed in this website.

The status of each of the three site areas/operable units is described below.

Goldwater Disposal Area (operable unit 1): The remedy included installation of a slurry wall, capping, and groundwater pumping and treatment. Construction of the remedy finished in 1995. Treated groundwater is in compliance with discharge requirements.

Coke Plant Lagoon Area (operable unit 2): The remedy included demolition of the coke plant; off-site disposal of low-level contaminated soil; recycling, treatment and/or disposal of soft tar; hot spot excavation and treatment; wetland development; and groundwater pumping and treatment. Construction of the remedy finished in 2001. Since 2011, recovery of the wetlands habitat is occurring through natural processes in this area.

Tar Plant (operable unit 3): The tar plant closed, and operations ceased in December 2000. Honeywell began decommissioning activities in 2001 and completed all significant decontamination and demolition work in 2003. The remedy for contaminated soil beneath the former tar plant structures includes capping of contaminated soil, land use restrictions to make sure the cap remains intact and a project to cap contaminated river sediment. Construction of the remedy was completed in 2016.

In October of 2018 U.S. EPA decided that the site is Site-Wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWARU), meaning the site has been added to the number of final and deleted construction complete National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

EPA placed activity and use limitations known as institutional controls at this site because Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs [comprised of benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene], naphthalene, benzene, phenolics, and inorganic compounds such as arsenic and cyanide were found in groundwater, soil, and sediment.


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