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Little Scioto River cleanup resumes

Release Date: 06/08/2006
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (EPA) Susan Pastor, (312) 353-1325, pastor.susan@epa.gov (Ohio EPA) Dina Pierce, (614) 644-2160, dina.pierce@epa.state.oh.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 06-OPA093

(CHICAGO - June 8, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Ohio EPA this week begin the second phase of cleanup on the Little Scioto River near Marion, Ohio.

The $3 million project, including a $1 million contribution from Ohio EPA, is set for completion in early fall. Area businesses and residents can expect to see increased truck traffic and workers in required protective clothing. A Westlake, Ohio-based, EPA emergency response team will oversee the cleanup in consultation with Ohio EPA's Northwest District office in Bowling Green.

The project was initiated in 2002 with the goal of removing creosote-contaminated sediment from the river bottom along a 3.5 mile stretch of the river from north of Holland Road to south of State Route 739. The river was polluted by the former Baker Wood Preserving Co., a wood treatment plant that operated from the 1890s to 1960s. A separate $1.2 million EPA cleanup at the Baker Wood property, a few blocks away, was completed in 2004.

Total cost of the multi-year river cleanup effort will be at least $20 million. The $5 million first phase of the project was completed during 2002-2003 and involved removal and safe disposal of 32,000 tons of sediment from a three-quarter mile segment of the river. About 10,000 tons of contaminated soil and vegetation were also removed from the North Rockswale Ditch, which enters the river south of Holland Road.

The 2006 work will be performed by building a series of 200- to 400-foot long "cells" in the river. First the cells are completely drained. Next, two to five feet of sediment are chemically treated in place. Finally, the material is removed and dried on a pad before being shipped for disposal at the Crawford County Landfill in Bucyrus. This phase of work will complete the project up to the intersection of the river and State Route 95.

Numerous local partners and individuals have been actively involved in site research and analysis, and logistical support, over the course of the project. These include the City of Marion, Marion County, Marion Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Envisioning the 21st Century and Marion CAN DO! organizations, and Ohio-American Water Company.

Site documents are available at the Marion Public Library, 445 E. Church St. For more information, contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Susan Pastor, (800) 621-8431, Ext. 31325 or pastor.susan@epa.gov.

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