NEO landfills and quarries vulnerable to flooding from climate change, new report finds

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 6:29 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Six Superfund sites in Northeast Ohio could be at risk for flooding, according to a new non-partisan report.

It says climate change could damage these contaminated hazardous waste sites across the country.

And the government says when it comes to our region, they don't have a plan to address the risks.

Superfund sites in Northeast Ohio include quarries, landfills and a former aircraft component plant.

All of these are marked "highest flood hazard" by the report, putting the sites at risk from natural disasters.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog who released the report, is urging the EPA to act.

The report says "climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of some natural disasters damaging Superfund sites—the nation's most contaminated hazardous waste sites.”

There are 945 potentially impacted sites across the country.


19 News Investigates found six Superfund sites in Northeast Ohio marked “highest flood hazard.”

There are Superfund sites in Elyria, Uniontown, Minerva, Dover, Jefferson Township and Kingsville.

Here’s a look at each site.


Republic Steel Quarry is in Elyria near the Black River.

According to the EPA, from 1950 to 1975, Republic Steel discharged about 200,000 gallons of waste per day.

The groundwater was later found to be contaminated with heavy metals.

The EPA removed the contaminated soil and monitored the groundwater.

They now say the site doesn't require any more cleanup.

Find out more here.


Reilly Tar & Chemical Corp in Dover along the Tuscarawas River was a coal tar refinery from 1932 to 1956.

The EPA says coal tar wastes led to soil and groundwater contamination.

The site was cleaned up and the agency says it's safe for the short term.

But the EPA says "the remedy will not be protective in the long term until site cleanup goals are met."

Read more here.


According to the EPA, “The 30-acre Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) site is located in Stark County, Ohio. Prior to 1966, the area was used for mining sand and gravel. In 1966, the mining and excavation pit was converted into a landfill, which operated until 1980.”

The landfill stopped operating in 1980 and was covered with soil, but the soil and groundwater were contaminated.

Read more about cleanup efforts here.


“The 135-acre TRW, Inc. (Minerva) site is located in Minerva, Ohio. A TRW facility, sold in 1986 to another entity, is located on the property and produces aircraft components. Past disposal practices associated with the facility were responsible for site contamination,” the EPA reports.

Find out more about contamination and cleanup efforts here.


The EPA reports “the 9-acre Laskin/Poplar Oil Co. site is located in Ashtabula County, Ohio. A waste oil storage area and a greenhouse were formerly located on site. The owners used waste oil to heat the greenhouse and for road oiling. Some of the waste oil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous materials.”

Find out more about contamination and cleanup efforts here.


According to the EPA, “the Big D Campground (Big D) site is located in Kingsville in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The area was originally a sand and gravel pit. From 1964 to 1976, wastes were dumped in the pit.”

Find out more about contamination and cleanup efforts here.

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