Former West Virginia industrial site eyed for commercial development

November 12, 2014

A former industrial facility in Charleston, West Virginia has received approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection for its cleanup plan under the Voluntary Remediation Program. The site, owned by Union Carbide Corp., operated as a warehouse and drum storage facility from the early 1940s until the late 1990s. 

Although the 7.25-acre site is currently vacant, the Charleston Daily Mail reports that it is being eyed for future commercial or industrial use. 

Remediation will include a soil cover being installed at the site and restrictions on future use. Part of these restrictions involve the prohibition of groundwater extraction at the site, with the exception of further groundwater monitoring or remediation. 

The site will also be limited to non-residential use, and will require the future owner to maintain the soil cover in accordance with the approved Health and Safety Plan. Depending on future findings, it could also require vapor mitigation technologies to establish whether mitigation is needed for future enclosed buildings intended for human occupancy.

West Virginia's Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act was enacted to help motivate the redevelopment of abandoned and under-utilized properties. 

"By providing financial incentives to invest in brownfields, this approach protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia," the agency wrote in a release. 

Without this program, many properties with potentially hazardous contamination may continue to remain drains on local economies. Voluntary Remediation Program certification also ensures that the remediated site will not later become the subject of a Department of Environmental Quality enforcement action, unless new issues are discovered.

Environmental consultant can help property owners and prospective buyers navigate the most cost-effective route towards returning land to usable condition.