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U.S. EPA REGION 5
BUTLER COUNTY
HAMILTON

Congressional District # 08

ARMCO INCORPORATION-HAMILTON PLANT

EPA ID# OHD074705930
Last Updated: July, 2010

Site Description

The Armco Hamilton site consists of about 252 acres divided between two pieces of property north and south of Augspurger Road in the village of New Miami, about 1.5 miles northeast of downtown Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. The site is an inactive facility that produced iron for steel making. The site is bordered to the south and east by the Great Miami River and to the north and west by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks. The former manufacturing portion of the site consists of a fenced parcel located south of Augspurger Road. The northern portion of the site includes a rail yard where piles of waste from air pollution cleaning equipment were stored. A 4.5-acre closed landfill is located north of the rail yard. It is covered with grass and fenced. A small unnamed tributary borders the landfill to the east and flows east to the Great Miami River. The river runs along the entire eastern length of the Armco site. The property is close to both public and private drinking water wells.

The facility began operations as a steel mill around 1900 and has changed ownership several times. Armco (American Rolling Mills Co.) purchased the site from the Hamilton Coke and Iron Co. in 1937. AK Steel Corp. was a general partner of Armco and is the current owner of the site.

The coke plant covered about 50 acres in the north-central portion of the south parcel. Nearly 2,000 tons of coke were produced each day. Tar waste from this process was periodically disposed in the on-site landfill. The landfill operated from the early 1960s to 1980. Although used primarily for the disposal of tar waste, the landfill also received an unknown amount of rubble, trash and industrial waste.

The blast furnace operation consisted of two furnaces, each producing about 1,000 tons of iron per day. The operation occupied about 10 acres at the south end of the site. Byproducts from the blast furnace included slag and large amounts of dust. Wastewater from the blast furnace was placed into one of two unlined ponds where the solid matter settled. This sludge was periodically dredged from the two settling ponds and stored in unlined piles in the rail yard. Because the sludge had a high iron content, it was eventually reused in iron production.

Before September 1987, an unknown amount of wastewater from the blast furnace was regularly released from the settling ponds into the Great Miami River under a federal discharge permit. In 1987, Armco began reusing all blast furnace wastewater to remove lead and zinc as required by a new federal permit. In total, Armco operated four outfalls that discharged to the Great Miami River. Outfall 1 consisted of wastewater from the blast furnace as well as cooling water and stormwater runoff. Outfall 2 discharged cooling water from the condensers and water from the wastewater treatment plant. Outfalls 3 and 4 were for stormwater runoff only.

Ohio EPA studied the Armco Hamilton site in June 1983. However, the study did not determine the full extent of the contamination at the site so more investigation was needed. In 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) inspected the property and took samples of soil, sediment, sludge piles, settling ponds and ground water and also sampled drinking water wells in the area. Samples were also collected from two nearby municipal water wells, several on-site wells and one nearby residential well. The results of this sampling revealed contamination in on-site sediment, sludge piles and settling ponds. No contaminants were detected at unsafe levels in any of the drinking water wells sampled in 1988.  U.S. EPA sampling was also done at the site in 1993 and showed the presence of contaminants in on-site soil, waste and sediment. Three monitoring wells were installed in the southern portion of the site in 1999. The wells were checked three times between January 2000 and March 2001 and significant levels of contamination were not found. However, the wells, all at the south end of the site, were drilled to a depth of around 100 feet and would not capture contaminants located closer to the surface or pollution in the northern part of the site.

Site Responsibility

The Site is being addressed by the potentially responsible party (PRP) with oversight of U.S. EPA (lead agency) and Ohio EPA (support agency). 

Threats and Contaminants

The primary contaminants at the site are heavy metals, benzene, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Cleanup Progress

In April 2002, the PRP entered into an Administrative Order on Consent to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the site.  U.S. EPA proposed the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in April 2003.

The PRP submitted a draft RI report, a human health risk assessment, and and ecological risk assessment to U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA for review and approval.  The Agencies reviewed the documents and provided comments to the PRP, and the PRP submitted responses to U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA comments.  In September 2007 the PRP performed a biocriteria study to be included as part of the Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment.  In May 2008 the PRP performed supplemental RI fieldwork to address data gaps identified as part of the first round of the remedial investigation.  In November 2008 the PRP submitted a final draft Remedial Investigation Report for U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA review.  The draft Remedial Investigation Report included the additional data collected as part of the supplemental investigation.

Currently, U.S. EPA is working with the PRP to finalize the RI Report and address additional data gaps to delineate the extent of groundwater contamination.  In addition, U.S. EPA is working with the PRP and Ohio EPA to solve issues related to the collection of background data for the Site.  Once this issue is resolved, the PRP will proceed to finalize the RI report and initiate work on the development of the Feasibility Study Report. 

Following finalization of the FS Report, U.S. EPA will issue a proposed cleanup plan for public comment, and after consideration of all comments, U.S. EPA will select a final cleanup plan in a Record of Decision.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
allison nowotarski (nowotarski.allison@epa.gov)
(312) 353-0967

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

Aliases

ARMCO INC HAMILTON PLT
ARMCO INC., HAMILTON PLANT

 

Site Profile Information

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

 


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