Republic Steel in Canton still not in compliance with EPA, health department one year later

CANTON, Ohio - For nearly a year, air quality around the Republic Steel factory in Canton has failed to meet EPA pollution standards, and neighbors aren't happy.

Canton Health, Air Pollution and the EPA have been involved in testing in the area for almost a year. 

"We've probably tripled the amount of work we've done in that area because of violation investigations," Canton City Health Commissioner Jim Adams said. 

News 5 began reporting on Republic Steel and complaints about the factory in March 2017 when nearby residents of Georgetown Estates started complaining about a mess they felt was caused by the factory. 

They reported dust, dirt and residue in the air and on their homes and cars. 

Longtime neighbors with Republic Steel, residents claimed it was the first of their problems with the plant. 

The Health Department continues to investigate this situation and has found no reason for concern when it comes to safety. 

"We don't see any health concerns there at all right now," Adams said. 

But they did find other problems.

Inspectors have reported a dozen air pollution violations.

Commissioner Adams said those same violations remain. 

"They continue to be violations, and they're a significant concern for the community," Adams said. "We are working with the EPA to develop a set of findings and orders and it could include fines, remedies."

As for the residents' concerns and complaints expressed over the past year, Adams said he understands their irritations.

"They're justifiably frustrated, as are we, because we want our facilities to operate in compliance, and it has taken significant time for us to investigate these complaints and build up this enforcement case."

According to the Health Department, they have increased their inspection rate 

Republic Steel did not wish to comment.

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