Canton Health Officials Investigate the Air Around a City Steel Mill

Mar 27, 2017

Some neighbors of the Republic Steel plant on Canton’s east side want to know if it is the source of dust that settles on their properties. They also want to know if the dust is hazardous. 

A delegation from a housing development just south of the steel mill asked Canton City Council earlier this month for a study of the dust and where it is coming from.  They went to council because the city health department handles air pollution control in Canton.

Jim Adams, Canton Health Commissioner
Credit City of Canton

Health Commissioner Jim Adams says, "We operate under contract for the Ohio EPA to operate an air monitoring network to look for compliance with air quality standards. We write permits and do facilities inspections. And we investigate complaints.”

Adam says sample-gathering and testing started at mid-month in the area of the mill. He also says his staff has experience with the location and the steel complex.    

“We do regular inspections a minimum of every two years.  They are unannounced inspections.  And we would actually go into the facilities and observe the process and look at the records they are required to keep.  And we would also do that upon a complaint.”

Republic Steel, Canton, OH
Credit WKSU / WKSU

No chemical emissions at hazardous levels have been found in the past. Samples of the current dust are being collected and tested. There will be a public meeting about the investigation April 4th at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers.