VRP protects environment, promotes economic development
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has accepted a Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) application submitted by the Town of Bath to address environmental conditions at Rails to Trails Lot 1 and Lot 3 in Morgan County.
The site is located at 100 Williams Street in Berkeley Springs and includes approximately 2.582 acres. The site was developed as a railroad alignment before 1899, and was used for railroad ties storage until at least 1913. A portion of the parcel was historically part of a railroad track system and a former wood yard. Site investigations and remediation activities were conducted between 2006 and 2010 to address soils with elevated levels of Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and arsenic. A Land Use Covenant (LUC) was established in September of 2012 with the purpose of limiting the use of the property to non-residential use. The site is currently used as a lay-down/equipment storage yard for the Town of Bath. A rail trail and bike path is proposed for the site.
OER is currently negotiating a Voluntary Remediation Agreement (VRA) with the applicant. Under the VRA, the applicant will work with the WVDEP to identify human health and ecological risks associated with current and potential future uses of the site, establish applicable remediation standards, and ensure that standards are maintained at the site. Upon completion of the remediation, a final report will be submitted to OER for review and approval.
West Virginia’s Voluntary Remediation and Redevelopment Act encourages voluntary cleanups of contaminated sites as well as redevelopment of abandoned and under-utilized properties, with an objective of counteracting the lack of development on sites with contamination or perceived contamination.
By providing financial incentives to invest in brownfields, this approach protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia.