Former Republic Steel Land Gets Clean Bill of Health

WARREN, Ohio – BDM Warren Steel Holdings LLC has completed environmental remediation on 800 acres along Pine Avenue where the former Republic Steel works once stood, clearing the way for the Western Reserve Port Authority to take possession of the property.

“The next step will be the transfer of the property,” said John Moliterno, port authority CEO. “It’s in the hands of the attorneys now and we should have everything finalized in a week or two.”

The property has received a not-to-sue covenant under the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Voluntary Action Program.

Moliterno says he’s encouraged about inquiries the port authority has fielded about the site. “There’s a lot of interest in this site,” he says. 

A not-to-sue covenant protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible for further environmental investigation and remediation relating to known releases. The protection applies only when the property is used and maintained according to the terms and conditions of the agreement, states the OEPA. 

The covenant clears 800 acres at the site, Moliterno says. The port authority is considering another 200 acres there that are undergoing a Phase I environmental assessment. 

The property was used to produce multiple forms of steel from 1912 until 2012. Some of the products included heavy plate armaments, grenade stock, coiled steel, slabs and fencing during World War II. The southern part of the property is used for slag harvesting activities and houses several buildings that support those operations. The remainder of the property is vacant and all buildings have been demolished. 

Following standards developed by the Ohio EPA, the property owners hired a certified environmental professional to assess the property and address areas of environmental concern. Soil was excavated, relocated and consolidated to meet standards.

“BDM has been very cooperative and they’ve done everything they’ve promised to us and the state of Ohio,” Moliterno says. “We’re excited about the future of the site.”

More than 14,422 acres of contaminated land on 657 sites in 70 counties have been cleaned up since the Voluntary Action Program was created in 1994, the Ohio EPA said.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.