Norfolk Southern applies for cleanup at Williamson Rail Yard


Norfolk Southern Railway Co. has submitted a Voluntary Remediation application to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to address environmental conditions associated with historic operations at the Williamson Rail Yard (NSWRY) in Mingo County.

The NSWRY is located at 109 East 4th Ave., and functions as an active freight rail facility. The site with environmental concerns is comprised of a 1.14-acre tract of industrial property within the NSWRY and serves as a locomotive fueling facility. Petroleum products are stored elsewhere at the rail yard and dispensed at the site as part of the rail yard’s refueling and maintenance activities.

Historic site activities have included the storage of petroleum products in above-ground storage tanks and 55-gallon drums; and, refueling and maintenance of diesel locomotives. Contaminants of potential concern associated with the site include metals, volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds.
The DEP’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) is currently negotiating a voluntary remediation agreement with Norfolk Southern, which includes provisions for identifying human health and ecological risks associated with current and potential future uses of the site, and to establish appropriate cleanup standards. The agreement also includes provisions for additional clean up or remediation actions should they be necessary to meet those standards. A final report will be submitted to the OER for review to confirm that the work meets all applicable remediation standards.

The DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program stems from the West Virginia Legislature’s Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act (VRRA). The VRRA encourages voluntary clean-ups of contaminated sites, as well as redevelopment of abandoned and under-utilized properties, in the hope of counteracting the lack of growth on sites with contamination or perceived contamination.

Questions regarding the voluntary remediation agreement or this application should be directed to either Bin Z. Schmitz, project manager, WVDEP-OER, 601 57th St., S.E., Charleston, WV 25304, (304) 926-0499 ext. 1286; or to Rick Helmadollar, Licensed Remediation Specialist, ARCADIS, 704 Bland St., Bluefield, WV 24701 (304) 325-3614, Ext. 11.


Tom Aluise