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Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# OHN000509950
Last Updated: March, 2012

Site Description

The Little Scioto River (LSR) 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. A four-mile stretch of river sediment is contaminated with coal tar creosote containing hazardous polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, that originated from the nearby former 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. In 1946, the Ohio Department of Health notified BWC that chemicals (likely creosote) were being discharged from BWC into the combined sewers that drain to nearby North Rockswale Ditch and the Little Scioto River.  The BWC facility is currently vacant. 

Using a mix of U.S. Coast Guard Oil Pollution Act and Superfund emergency removal funds, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted substantial excavation work from 2002 to 2006, removing 68,000 tons of contaminated sediment from about two miles of the river as well as a polluted shoreline area.

EPA placed the LSR site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 2009. 



Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through state and federal actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Although EPA removed 68,000 tons of contaminated sediment from the Littlle Scioto River, additional contaminated sediment remains. Since 1992 the Ohio Department of Health has maintained a heath advisory against swimming, wading, and eating fish from this stretch of the river.

People who swim or wade in this stretch of river risk incidental ingestion 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.  The advisory runs west from the city of Marion, from Holland Road south to State Route 739. 


Cleanup Progress

EPA conducted a removal action at the Baker Wood Creosoting (BWC)property and in the Little Scioto River to address immediate risks. This work included draining and dredging a 1 1/4-mile stretch of river. The area was backfilled with clean soil. Contaminated sediment was removed and dried on a pad just east of the cleanup area. It was eventually shipped to Bucyrus, Ohio, for proper disposal.

EPA proposed the LSR site for the NPL in April 2009 and placed the site on NPL in September 2009.  EPA initiated the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) 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 will be compiled into an RI Report, planned for completion in summer 2012.

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 would be required at the LSR site.


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


Site Profile Information

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


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