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U.S. EPA REGION 5
MARION COUNTY
MARION COUNTY

Congressional District # 04

LITTLE SCIOTO RIVER

EPA ID# OHN000509950
Last Updated: September, 2014

Site Description

The Little Scioto River (LSR) Superfund site is located in Marion Township, Marion County, Ohio. The Little Scioto River flows into the Scioto River, which is a major tributary of the Ohio River. At the LSR site, a four-mile stretch of Little Scioto River sediment is contaminated with coal tar creosote that contains hazardous polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds and which originated from the nearby former and now vacent Baker Wood Creosoting (BWC) facility.  

The former BWC facility preserved lumber products from approximately 1890 through the late 1960s. Railroad ties were preserved with coal-tar creosote and then stacked to dry on the western portion of the property. By 1946, the Ohio Department of Health had notified BWC that chemicals (likely creosote) were being discharged from BWC into the combined sewers that drained into nearby North Rockswale Ditch and the Little Scioto River.

From 2002 to 2006, EPA conducted a substantial amount of excavation work in the Little Scioto River, removing 68,000 tons of PAH-contaminated sediment from a two-mile stretch of the river as well as from a polluted shoreline area.

EPA proposed to place the LSR site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2009 and listed it on the NPL in September 2009.

Site Responsibility

The LSR site is being addressed through state and federal actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Although EPA removed 68,000 tons of contaminated sediment from the Little Scioto River, additional contaminated sediment remains. The Ohio Department of Health has maintained a 1992 heath advisory against swimming, wading, and eating fish from this stretch of the river. The advisory area runs west from the city of Marion, from Holland Road south to State Route 739.

People who swim or wade in this stretch of the river risk incidental ingestion of or direct contact with creosote- and PAH-contaminated sediment.  Those who fish, despite the advisory, risk ingestion of these chemicals from contaminated fish and direct contact with contaminated sediment. Exposure to these compounds over time could lead to carcinogenic and/or non-carcinogenic health effects.

Cleanup Progress

EPA had conducted a removal action at the Baker Wood Creosoting (BWC) property and in the Little Scioto River to address immediate health risks. This work included draining and dredging a 1.25-mile stretch of the river. The area was backfilled with clean soil.  Contaminated sediment was removed and dried on a pad just east of the cleanup area and then shipped to Bucyrus, Ohio, for proper disposal.

EPA initiated a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site in July 2009. In October 2010, EPA collected fish and mussel tissue samples along with sediment and water samples from the Little Scioto River and its tributaries. In April 2011, EPA collected soil and groundwater samples from the former BWC property. In February 2012, EPA did some follow-up data collection at the site. The results of these sampling events was compiled into an RI Report which was completed in August 2013.

EPA plans to complete a feasibility study (FS) that evaluates potential cleanup alternatives for the LSR site in 2014 and then issue a proposed cleanup plan for public comment in early 2015.

Community Involvement

In 2009, EPA conducted community interviews in Marion County Township and within the city limits. EPA also interviewed the local government entities to help the Agency decide what type of community outreach activities it will conduct at the LSR site.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
howard caine (caine.howard@epa.gov)
(312) 353-9685

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.

 


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