Cleanup Begins at Former Royal China Site in Sebring

SEBRING, Ohio – After several months of soil testing and planning, work to clean up the former Royal China site is underway.

The Mahoning County Land Bank recently approved a contract for nearly $700,000 with United Earthworks, based in Deerfield, to contain or remove contaminated soil from the 20-acre site. The agreement also covers the delivery of about 1,800 truckloads of clean soil to the property as part of the effort to get it ready for redevelopment.

The land bank expects the work to be done by early July.

The Sebring site has been quiet since the 1980s, when Royal China, once a nationally prominent dinnerware producer with more than 700 employees, closed the plant it had operated for more than 80 years. Buildings at the site were razed in 2010, but the expense of addressing the contaminated soil posed a barrier to redevelopment.

The land bank acquired the site in 2020 through a tax foreclosure and applied in early 2022 for a $1.5 million cleanup grant. In 2022, the state approved that grant as part of a new program aimed at restoring brownfield locations across the state. Those funds, plus local investments from Mahoning County and the new property owner, paid for planning and testing activities, as well as the cleanup.

Following the cleanup, the property owner, Michael Conny, owner of MAC Trailer in Alliance, will be able to apply for regulatory clearance to market the site for development.

CREDIT: Mahoning County Land Bank.

Pictured at top: These truckloads of clean soil will be used to form a containment area for lead-contaminated soil on the northeast section of the cleanup site. A gently sloped hill with 2 feet of clean fill will be seeded and left undeveloped. (Mahoning County Land Bank)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.