New Fill Dirt to Replace Brownfield Soil
-part two of blog on Evitt’s Run & Shenandoah Watershed Clean-up
The history of Charles Town and Ranson includes a booming lumber industry and grain and agriculture storage and processing along with railroad for transporting lumber and grain to markets. There was a Maytag appliances factory, with metal works, which left former industrial sites of what are called “brownfields.” As Charles Town City manager Joe Cosentini said, “they are underutilized tracts that need to rehabilitated and brought into a useful state.”
In particular, as a former brownfield area the sister cities are hoping to remediate grounds. With these new partnerships, stakeholders can make recommendations and assess where soils can be “managed in place” or where remediation and removal before construction will need to happen near Evitt’s Run.
Downstream Strategies or Morgantown says the West Virginia environmental protection agency indicates very low levels of contamination remain. “If the existing soils show exposure risk, we will excavate and conduct risk assessments,” Glass noted. Of course this takes money and several partner organizations will continue to review the soil. “Did they dig from an old factory grounds, and if prior investigation shows some contamination, new fill dirt will be brought in.”
“Charles Town and Ranson are aware of these industrial brownfield sites. Chemicals and metals were used to expedite manufacturing before we knew the risks. From a land use point of view, can we handle this on-site” during the urban stormwater and Evitt’s Run projects, said Marc Glass of Downstream.
Cosentini and his counterparts in Ranson, which are heavily involved in remediating several brownfield properties of their own including an old brass foundry site, believe brownfield remediation can make the sister cities more enjoyable. They will be both walkable and pedestrian friendly.
A finance center and adminstration building were built over the past two years by American Public University System. In addition to the energy conserving centers, brownfield land was reclaimed for the site work.