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Little Scioto River

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (pastor.susan@epa.gov)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325

Remedial Project Manager
Howard Caine
312-353-9685 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39685


(where to view written records)

Marion Public Library
445 E. Church St.
Marion, OH


Creosote contamination in the Little Scioto River was most likely caused by poor disposal practices at the former Baker Wood Creosoting facility located nearby.

After EPA cleaned up the Baker Wood property, workers drained and dredged 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.

During the most recent phase, about ¾ mile of river was cleaned up. Work ended near the intersection of State Route 95 in November 2006. It was funded by EPA ($2 million) and Ohio EPA ($1 million). Additional funding to complete the cleanup along the river to State Route 739 was no longer available.

The project was originally started in 2002 and paid for by U.S. Coast Guard Oil Pollution Act funds. About ½ mile of North Rockswale Ditch and ½ mile of the river was dredged at that time. When that portion of the cleanup was complete, USCG and EPA agreed that Superfund money was a more appropriate way to pay for the rest of the cleanup.

Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) and Community Advisory Group (CAG) are two ways the community can get involved. Learn more about CAGs and TAGs

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates | News Releases | Fact Sheets || Technical Documents ||

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

August 2013

Results from ground water and sediment (mud) samples taken along the bank of the Little Scioto River and its tributaries will be included in a document called a remedial investigation report which is expected to be completed this summer. Those results confirmed that compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, from the former Baker Wood Creosoting site on Holland Road are still present. Based on the information in the remedial investigation report, another document called a feasibility study will be developed in 2014.  It will list several possible cleanup options for the river and Baker Wood, if necessary.

Sampling started at Green Camp and moved north past state Route 309. EPA contractors tested for PAHs which are associated with coal tar creosote used to preserve wood while the plant operated from the 1890s to the 1960s. We also tested for metals (in water and sediment) that may have come from Baker Wood when it was used as a metal scrap yard in the 1960s and 70s.

Fish and mussels were also sampled to determine if there are any ecological risks. Contaminants were found in the mussel samples, but a more detailed analysis is required before we can draw any conclusions.

EPA recently returned to the Baker Wood property to update information first obtained in 2002. Soil and ground water samples were taken again and are being analyzed by an EPA-approved lab. Results should be available this summer.  Although EPA addressed the immediate threats in its previous cleanup project, we needed to collect more information to ensure that no other pathway exists for contamination to move again from Baker Wood toward the river through its tributary, North Rockswale Ditch.

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