The U.S. Army is drafting a plan to possibly clean up several chemicals left behind at the former Lordstown Ordnance Depot. 

Hundreds of acres of land near Ellsworth Bailey Road and Palmyra Road were used as a vital space for producing munitions that helped win World War II. Now, all that remains are several toxic chemicals that were used by the Department of Defense.

From the 1940’s to 1963 the DOD used the space as a railroad salvage yard, a burn pit and a waste oil pit. Crews burned cardboard, wood, junk cars, gasoil and more. The site is now private property owned partially by the Ohio Commerce Center and the Lordstown School District, but hazardous chemicals are still there. 

As part of the “Formerly Used Defense Site Program,” the US Army Corps of Engineers are cleaning up sites like the one in Lordstown to get them back to public use. 

In a more than 6,000 page study of the site, the Ohio EPA identified six chemicals that are at such high levels that they need to be cleaned up for the area to be used again. The chemicals include Benzene, Chloroform,  cis-1,2-DCE, Naphthalene, Trichloroethylene and Vinyl Chloride.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency handling the cleanup of this property,” a spokesperson for the Ohio EPA told 21 News. 

But, even though high lead levels were found at the site by the Ohio EPA they won’t be a part of the clean up. Project manager Paula Coleman of the USACE told 21 News that since the space is only for industrial use “lead is not considered to be a contaminant of concern” and they have “no plans to remediate lead at the site.”

The engineers will draft a proposed plan, which could take several months. After that, the public will be able to comment on the plan to see if it can move forward. 

Coleman said it’s too early in the process to say how the chemicals will actually be removed. 

The estimated cost of the project is in the millions according to the study done by the Ohio EPA. Coleman said the U.S. Treasury would be responsible for the cost of the project if it goes through.

21 News reached out to the Village of Lordstown mayor and several council members about the project, they all said the Ohio EPA has not told them about the study and they have no knowledge of any possible clean up project at the Former Lordstown Ordnance Depot site. 

The superintendent of Lordstown School District, Gregory Bonamase, said they stopped using the land that they own on the site almost 15 years ago because the EPA told them it wasn’t safe. Bonamase said he has not been told about any possible clean up at the land that they own or on the land around it. 

Coleman could not say if the land the school district owns has any of the six chemicals that the Ohio EPA identified. 

“The intent is to work on the Ohio Commerce Center Property,” Coleman said. 

The Ohio Commerce Center did not respond when 21 News asked if they knew about the hazardous chemicals on the site or a possible cleanup project.