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Environment & Energy

Army Corps backs soil remediation at Cleveland uranium production site

photo of Harshaw Chemical entry gate
Kabir Bhatia
The 55-acre Harshaw Chemical campus has been dormant since the 1990s. Redevelopment plans have hinged on what to do about possible soil contamination at the site, seen in this 2019 photo.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to clean-up a site in Cleveland's Industrial Valley which was used for uranium production during World War II.

The former Harshaw Chemical campus has been dormant since the 1990s. Nearby residents have been concerned about disturbing contaminated soil at the site, since the Cuyahoga River runs through the area. After two years of public comment, Project Manager Jeff Rowley says they've decided to remediate the soil.

“There will be engineering controls for dust suppression. We’ll evaluate, when we’re next to waterways, if there’s some sort of barrier we need to put into place. We’ll take all those factors into place when we’re generating those work plans," according to Rowley.

“We’ll do air monitoring, we’ll get in there [and] remove that soil, and then we’ll back fill with low permeability soil.”

Rowley says about a half-dozen landowners currently control the site, and any future development will be up to them. He's hoping to award a contract next year and begin the cleanup process in 2023. For the past decade, officials with the Towpath Trail have been planning to complete a section through the Harshaw site.