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Harmful materials illegally dumped in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Beacon Journal staff report

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CUYAHOGA FALLS: A cleanup crew worked for several hours Thursday to remove 42 containers dumped illegally along Ira Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Chemtron Corp. completed its work about 4 p.m.

Ira Road was reopened to traffic about 5:15 p.m.

Three staffers from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency tested the containers and found some of the material to be caustic, acidic and/or flammable, agency spokesman Mike Settles said.

The EPA collected nine samples — one from the soil and eight from the containers — for additional testing, he said. Those tests could take several weeks to complete.

Some paint wastes, solvents and oil-based wastes were found in the 42 containers, Settles said.

Ranging in size from one gallon to 55 gallons, the containers were discovered on both sides of Ira Road between Riverview and Akron-Peninsula roads near the Cuyahoga River late Wednesday.

Chemtron, based in Avon Lake, removed some contaminated soil from around one large barrel that had leaked, Settles said. There was no indication that any hazardous material reached the Cuyahoga River or other surface water.

Settles said Chemtron will properly dispose of all the containers. The tally included 12 drums that held 30 or 55 gallons dumped on the south side of Ira Road and 30 containers, mostly 5-gallon buckets or 1-gallon cans, on the north side.

State and federal officials are treating the matter as intentional illegal dumping, Settles said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been called in.

After the discovery of the containers, park rangers closed the road and contacted the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department and the Ohio EPA.

Anyone with information about the dumping is asked to contact the National Park Service at 440-546-5945 or to call the EPA’s spill hotline at 800-282-9378.


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