Scioto County receives $4.7 million for New Boston Coke Remediation

Staff report

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced state support for 112 brownfield remediation projects that will help clean up contaminated properties in Ohio to make way for future economic development.

As part of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, the Ohio Department of Development is awarding $192 million for projects impacting 41 Ohio counties.

“These properties are vital spaces in our communities, ones that are not only being wasted in their current capacity but oftentimes are a danger to their local communities,” said Governor DeWine. “Today, we’re reclaiming these spaces for the future of our residents, businesses, and communities.”

The $192 million in grant awards includes approximately $187.8 million for 79 clean-up projects and $4.5 million for 33 assessment projects. These grants are in addition to the $60 million in Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program grants awarded in April. An additional $98 million in funds will be awarded in the coming months.

“This is revitalization at its finest,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “These investments in cleaning up brownfields take blighted properties and turn them into parks, housing, or economic development sites that improve the quality of life for everyone in the local community.”

Funds awarded will help to assess and clean up industrial, commercial, and institutional brownfield sites that are abandoned, idled, or underutilized due to a known or potential release of hazardous substances or petroleum. Following site remediation, properties can be redeveloped to revitalize neighborhoods and attract new economic development.

Locally, the Scioto County project New Boston Coke Remediation is included among those receiving funding, being awarded $4.7 million.

“I’d like to thank Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and the Department of Development for their support. This is the second project in Scioto County to receive funding through the program,” said State Representative Brian Baldridge. “This development will be good for the whole area.”

New Boston Coke was developed in 1910 in an industrial area located on the Northern shore of the Ohio River. Coke plant operations occurred between the early 1900s and early 2000s. Since the closure of the plant, the property has been unoccupied.

Funding is needed to perform asbestos abatement on the remaining oven and smokestack, as well as for the disposal of waste on the site.

During the Scioto County Commissioners meeting Thursday, Commissioner Scottie Powell thanked Robert Horton and all involved in applying for the grant.

“Getting the money is the hard part but doing the project is a different level,” Powell said. “We look forward to this one opening up those 26 acres to economic development. At least that’s the plan.”

While plans for the site after remediation are uncertain, a solar company has expressed interest in using the site as a location for solar panels.

The Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program was created with support from the Ohio General Assembly in the current operating budget. Funding for the program is first come, first served with a $1 million set-aside for each county. These funding awards are the final grants to be awarded as part of the first round of grant funding. Applications for the next round, which is exclusively for counites that have not yet exhausted their $1 million set-aside, are currently under consideration. All remaining funds not used by counties in the first two rounds will be made available statewide in the third round, which will open for applications on July 1, 2022.

Staff report