The Republic Steel site is a steel-making facility at 2633 8th Street NE in Canton, OH. Republic Steel acquired the site in 2003. The facility encompasses approximately 387 acres and is over 1.5 miles long in an east-west direction. It is bordered on the north and northwest by the East Branch Nimishillen Creek (EBNC) and the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, to the west by commercial and industrial property, and to the south by residences on Eighth Street. Land use immediately adjacent to the site consists mostly of industrial properties.
EPA and Republic entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (Order) in 2004. Pursuant to that Order, the site was investigated to determine if any risk was present to human health or the environment. EPA identified 66 Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) or Areas of Concern (AOCs). Of those areas, 37 posed unacceptable risk and require cleanup. Most of the on-site cleanups involve the excavation or pathway elimination of contaminated soil.
The Republic site is adjacent to a portion of the East Branch of the Nimishillen creek (EBNC). The EBNC watershed rests entirely in Stark County and originates in the areas around the City of Louisville. The EBNC is 10.4 miles long and flows past the site towards the southwest where it joins the Middle Branch near the City of Canton. Within the creek, adjacent to the site, is a historic low-head dam once used as a source of cooling and process water. The dam has not been used in recent time and has never been used by Republic. The ownership of the dam is currently in question.
The age and location of this particular dam has created an area within the creek where current and historic sediments build up behind the dam. For almost 100 years, historically contaminated sediment from upstream has been transported downstream and deposited behind the dam. There is approximately 8 feet of sediment thickness immediately behind the dam. This sediment is contaminated with high levels of metals and semi-volatile organic compounds. As part of the EPA proposed cleanup at the site, Republic will excavate 500 linear feet of creek sediment down to the natural creek bed.