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Solar panels being installed at former Allied Chemical tar plant

Will power groundwater treatment plant

The old tar plant area of the Allied Chemical and Ironton Coke plant site will be getting a green addition — solar panels.

On Wednesday, the U.S. EPA announced that 2.3 acres of the Superfund site will have a solar array installed.

Once it is operational, the solar array will be used to power 100 percent of the groundwater treatment plant on the site. The area where the groundwater system is located (Operable Unit 2 ROD Soils Area) remains on the National Priorities List.

The U.S. EPA say that the array will power 100 percent of the groundwater treatment plant on-site, which consumes about 1.2 million kilowatt hours a year, and that the use of the solar energy will offset about 817 tons of the plant’s annual carbon emissions.

Honeywell, the potentially responsible party responsible for cleanup of the site, will install the panels.

The Allied Chemical and Ironton Coke plant site was added to the Superfund’s National Priorities List in 1983.

Last August, the U.S. EPA removed the former tar plant area of the site from the National Priorities List after cleanup of the lagoon and sediment on site was completed. EPA demolished the former coal and tar plants, removed 375,000 tons of contaminated soil and installed a groundwater treatment system at the Allied site at 3330 S. Third St., Ironton. Operations and maintenance, monitoring and five-year reviews will continue as required.

The agency continues to address groundwater contamination at the site.

Honeywell’s cleanup consists of groundwater extraction, treatment of the contaminated groundwater at an on-site plant and monitoring.

The coke plant began operations in 1917. In 1977, the facility was sold and operated as Ironton Coke Plant Corp. In 1980, the company filed for bankruptcy and the site was shut down in 1982. The property and facilities were purchased by Iron City Fuels, Inc.

The 129-acre site was put on the NPL in 1983. Allied Chemical bought the coke plant while Iron City Fuels kept the surface facilities and salvaged material from it until 1985 when it went to Allied. In 1999, Allied Chemical merged with Honeywell International.

Honeywell closed the tar plant in 2000 and began decommissioning and clean up of the site in 2001.

The site consists of a former coke plant and five former lagoons, a former tar plant with a main parcel and a river parcel, a section consisting of parts adjacent to a local stream known as Ice Creek and a section known as the Goldcamp Disposal Area. Historical facility operations contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The site was divided into three areas, or Operable Units (OUs), for cleanup; the Goldwater Disposal Area (OU 1), the Coke Plant Lagoon Area (OU2) and the Tar Plant (OU3).

The area where the groundwater system is located (Operable Unit 2 ROD Soils Area) remains on the National Priorities List.