Remediation planned for Morgantown Industrial Park

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation (WVLSC) has been awarded a $500,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Cleanup Grant to prepare a 2.31-acre parcel in the Morgantown Industrial Park for redevelopment.

“It was part of the U.S. Government Ordinance and Manufacturing Plant in World War II,”Director of Operations for the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation, Jessica McDonald said,”There was a water treatment plant on that site, basically they pumped millions of dollars into that facility for a short period of time, then it was shutdown after the war.”

Despite the site’s prime location, the high cost of removing the damaged structures and handling the site’s environmental issues made private redevelopment unfeasible.

“There’s a lot of momentum going on around the industrial park, but in this state funding is always an issue,” McDonald said,”We’re really excited to have this to work with.”

After acquiring the property, the WVLSC conducted environmental assessments using funds from an EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, which allowed it to qualify for the Cleanup Grant. Enrout Properties, LLC will work closely with WVLSC to complete the work.

The grant funding will be used to raze the structures and determine what, if any contaminated materials are on the site. Contaminated materials, including parts of the structure would be disposed of offsite, uncontaminated materials could be incorporated into fill. Enrout Properties LLC will match the grant to help pay for the cleanup.

Once the site is clear, an earthen cap will be added and possibly paved in preparation for the role this site could play in the economic development of Morgantown. Enrout plans to build a loading and storage facility on the site to make transferring commodities hauled in by train more efficient.

“They may eventually expand the rail access in the park, they’re already working on expanding their barge access,” McDonald said,”If the I-79 Interchange comes about, that could be a game changer.”

“West Virginia needs to better position itself to compete for the quality jobs provided by manufacturing and distribution companies. The WV Land Stewardship Corporation is contributing to that effort by redeveloping this site.” Kevin Adrian, Co-Owner, Enrout Properties, LLC.

The final layout of the site has not been determined. If the smokestacks are not contaminated, contain contaminated material and are structurally stable they might stay as a historical reminder of the previous use.

“We recognize they are iconic, some redevelopment projects have left structures like that up and use them to their advantage,” McDonald said.

The WVLSC Land Bank acquired the parcel in November from Enrout Properties, LLC.

The West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation is a Morgantown-based nonprofit that promotes sustainable economic development throughout the state by facilitating reuse of commercial and industrial sites and managing legacy environmental concerns.