EPA targets ArmcoThe Associated Press
CINCINNATI — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday
proposed the addition of the former Armco plant near New Miami and a
Kings Mills site in Warren County to the national Superfund list of
hazardous waste locations that have priority for cleanup.
The EPA said chemical contamination from the sites threatens
underground drinking water supplies and nearby rivers.
The proposed additions of the former Armco Inc. plant in New
Miami, near Hamilton, and the former Peters Cartridge plant in Kings
Mills were published Wednesday in the Federal Register. That
triggers a 60-day comment period, after which the sites can be
placed on the list.
If that is done, the agency will complete studies of the
contamination and choose cleanup options before starting a cleanup.
The Superfund program was established in 1980 and gives the EPA
authority to identify polluters of the sites and ask them to pay
cleanup costs. The cleanups initially are paid for from the
Superfund, which is funded by industries and taxpayers.
The 120-acre Armco site produced coke and iron from 1937 until
1991. EPA officials said it is contaminated with metals,
hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
A waste landfill on the site was not lined or equipped with a
system to collect seeping water, polluted sludge and slag was dumped
on the property, and contaminated sediments were in a stream that
runs into the Great Miami River.
AK Steel Corp. took ownership of the property in 1994. As part of
an agreement with the EPA, it has been conducting an environmental
AK Steel Vice President of Public Affairs Alan McCoy offered no
comment when contacted Thursday by The Journal because he was
unaware of the EPA’s proposal.
The 10-acre Peters plant was an ammunition factory from the World
War I era until 1944. It made munitions for the military and rifle
and shotgun shells for consumers. From 1944 until the 1990s, the
site was used for production of vinyl phonograph records, for a
distillery warehouse and for making of eyeglass lenses and frames.
The soil around the plant is contaminated with lead, zinc and
other substances. In 1993, the site was paved to prevent direct
contact with lead-contaminated soil. State authorities later cleaned
up a Freon concentration there.
EPA officials said they are negotiating with parties who may be
responsible for the pollution, including DuPont and the Army and
Navy. Landmark Renaissance Associates now owns the property.
The pollution there is threatening an adjacent state nature
conservatory and the Little Miami River.