EPA approves cleanup of hospital property

Published 10:15 am Friday, July 9, 2010

The Ironton Port Authority is one important step closer to developing the site of the former Lawrence County General Hospital.

The Ohio Environmental Agency announced Thursday that it has approved the cleanup of the site, located at 2228 S Ninth St. in Ironton. The property has been approved for unrestricted land and ground water use.

The Ironton Port Authority has worked towards the development of the property since 2007 when it received a $750,000 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Development. The grant was used for the remediation and demolition of the facility structures.

IPA member Bill Dickens said the process has been challenging.

“It’s exciting and fulfilling to see this project finally come to fruition,” Dickens said.

Mayor Rich Blankenship agreed.

“I’m very glad to see it moving forward finally,” he said. “With the EPA it sometimes takes a while. It proves that with perseverance you can make it happen.”

The main chemicals of concern at the site were volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, total hydrocarbons, PCBs and asbestos. None of these chemicals were found in the soil at levels that would pose a human health or environmental risk.

Cleanup inside the facility including asbestos and biohazard, solid and infectious waste was conducted in 2008.

The IPA, along with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, plans to develop the site into a subdivision of approximately 23 residential lots.

Dickens said there is a need in the city for the lots.

“This will make available high quality single unit lots for residential construction in Ironton,” Dickens said. He added that the port authority already has seen strong interest in the residential lots.

“We have a list of people who have asked to be considered for the purchase,” he said.

The IPA is working with an appraiser to determine the prices for the residential lots.

The organization is also having an engineer plot the area. A waterline will have to be relocated and an alley reestablished between Eighth and Ninth streets. The IPA will also have to get approval from the zoning board and Ironton City Council.

Dickens said it should be about six weeks until the lots are ready to be sold.