The Site is situated on an 80-acre industrial parcel and currently contains one vacant building - the former South Point Ethanol powerhouse building. The former powerhouse building is a four-story steel-framed structure with a penthouse area above the fourth floor. Suspect asbestos containing materials (ACM) was observed on every floor of the building during EPA's Removal Assessment. Most ACM observed on the buildings’ interior floors resulted from water intrusion damage and illegal demolition practices.
From 1943 to 1995, the Site was used for the production of ammonium nitrate explosives, the production of fertilizers and various chemicals, a coal-water fuel pilot plant and pitch prilling test plant, and the production of ethanol. In 2001, Lawrence Economic Development Corporation acquired 540 acres surrounding the Site.
In October of 2013, the Portsmouth Local Air Agency conducted sampling of suspected ACM from debris piles found outside of the former powerhouse. The sampling confirmed the presence of asbestos above the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulatory level of 1%.
In February 2014, following a Notice of Violation for asbestos-related violations, Ohio Division of Air Pollution Control issued Unilateral Orders to South Point Biomass to abate the regulated ACM and waste. South Point Biomass failed to comply with the Orders and Ohio EPA referred the case to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for resolution.
The Ohio AGO filed a complaint against South Point Biomass in August 2015 and in February 2017 a Consent Order was filed with Courts. The Consent Order required South Point Biomass to hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor to develop and submit a cleanup plan, repair the damaged ACM, and secure the Site to prevent public access. To date, an acceptable plan has not been submitted.
On August 20, 2018, Ohio EPA referred the Site to the EPA to conduct a Removal Assessment and on February 11 and 12, 2019, EPA and Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team performed a Removal Assessment at the Site that included identification and evaluation of exposed suspect ACM present on the floors of the building interior and on the ground surface surrounding the exterior of the building; collection of bulk samples from the identified suspect ACM; and a limited hazardous materials survey and identification of waste containers observed at the Site building. The analytical results for the building material samples indicated that 5 of the 8 samples contained asbestos at concentrations ranging from 3 to 40% chrysotile asbestos, 2 samples contained 8 to 60% amosite asbestos, and 3 samples were non-detect for asbestos fibers.