Industrial Waste/Yella Gate
Where: Darlington/East Palestine
Status: Hopefully always getting better.
This is a bit of a weird one for me. This place is about a 1/2 mile from the house in which I was raised. I really didn't see much of it until a return trip with my Father in 2005. As a child we sort of thought of it as taboo.
We always called Industrial Waste Yella Gate, or Yellow Gate because of the small steel gate that blocked the entrance road from trespassers. By the time the gate was added, I believe the facility was only in partial use for the purpose of decontamination. The spot outside of the gate however was in full use as a polular drinking/partying spot for teens. It was in the middle of nowhere and out of out Police Force's jurisdiction.
The path leading back to the facility.
Industrial waste was a company that contracted with Steel Mills to dispose of pickling Acid. This is the Acid that is used during the process of making stainless steel (HNO3 + HF).
Danger Acid on the side of the tank.
I don't know what exactly happened at Industrial Waste, by my memory recalls something about cows being posioned. I have no idea if that is true. I do know that by the time I could remember the grounds, they were already in the process of trying to collect seepage from the large clay ponds in which they poured the Acid after it was released from the tanks.
I believe Acid stopped being shipped in 1982.
Here is an EPA report in PDF format that details more about the site. It is still watched by the EPA to this day although all indications are that they are fully cooperative which is a good thing.
You can see in the picture to the right that there are still outlines of the large clay lakes that were built for the acid. I have a faint memory of my father showing us these large orangish colored lakes from a hillside somewhere. He could not recall which facility he had shown us because there is another chemical dump between this one and our house. I'm laughing as I type this because that sounds so crazy now that I'm older.
The clay pits. The white ring is the edge of one of the fill areas that is now covered.
The field now is very low key and rarely used for anything other than riding four wheelers and dirtbikes. The company does still check the grounds for seepage and such. I don't recall much else about the grounds, but I do remember that we were not allowed to grow a garden for part of my youth (possibly due to the other checmical dump) and that my parents mentioned that occasionally on rainy humid days the air would make your eyes water. That sounds worse than it was.
As I said before, we don't know which of the facilities was the problem if either. This is only my opinion/speculation and based from my limited memory.
The temporary holding tanks. A pipe sticking from the ground reminds you that this field is covering something. Across the right field. There is another similar field to the left. Out the top of one of the tanks.
So as it ends up, this monster that we always had lurking in our backyard is really now pretty much low key. I'd love to have a picture of it in operation, even if its not a good one. I really have this vague mental image of two redish orange ponds with the sun reflecting off of them. Outside of that I've always wondered what it looked like.
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