The 95-acre Allied Chemical and Ironton Coke site lies on the banks of the Ohio River near the point where the Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia borders converge. The facility produced a number of products during its 83-year history including crude tar, coke, light oil, ammonia, creosote, pitch and naphthalene. The result of operations and waste disposal practices was extensive contamination of soil and ground water, sediment (mud) in nearby Ice Creek and Ohio River. The site was placed on EPA's National Priorities List in 1983.
The site actually is made up of three distinct cleanup areas, referred to as operable units. They are the former tar plant, a former disposal area for tar plant waste and foundry sand called the Goldcamp Disposal Area, and the former coke plant and waste lagoons. With the exception of ground water monitoring and routine maintenance, the Goldcamp Disposal Area, former coke plant and waste lagoons have been cleaned up. A portion of the land formerly occupied by the coke plant has been redeveloped into a maintenance facility for Ohio Department of Transportation. EPA's second Five-Year Review Report provides a detailed description of the site, operating history, nature and extent of contamination, cleanup methods and timeline of the regulatory process. View the September 2004 Five Year Review Report (PDF) (58pp, 3.0MB About PDF) and Five Year Review Report Appendices (PDF) (47pp, 2.5MB About PDF)
The former tar plant ceased operations in 2000 and demolition began a year later. Now that the plant is gone, underlying contaminated soil is being addressed as well as contaminated sediment. In August 2003, EPA and Honeywell International Inc. - the owner of the property - signed a legal agreement. This "administrative order" (Administrative Order on Consent for RI/FS (PDF) (60pp, 92K About PDF) August 2003) calls for an investigation of the contamination, a study of risks posed to people and the environment, development of cleanup options, and possible testing of promising options. Honeywell, under the supervision of EPA and Ohio EPA, conducted a field investigation in 2005 to evaluate possible cleanup remedies for ground water, sediment, soil and vapor. EPA announced a cleanup decision for the Tar Plant in September 2007.