River Valley Schools' Cancer Scare
During the 1980s and 1990s, medical officials began observing an increased rate of cancer, especially leukemia, among students at Marion, Ohio's, River Valley Schools. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) investigated the situation and discovered that some of the schools were built on land formally used by the United States Army as a waste dump. The site contained hazardous levels of at least seventy-five chemicals. The OEPA negotiated with the school district and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to have the schools relocated, resulting in a new high school, a new middle school, and two new elementary schools for the River Valley School District. At the OEPA's urging, the Ohio government earmarked 8.9 million dollars for the construction of the new schools, which were completed in 2003, and the agency also convinced federal government authorities to contribute fifteen million dollars. Clean-up of the former dump site began in 2004.