CHARLESTON, W.Va. (August 1, 2018) – 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 Upshur County Commission to address environmental conditions at Upshur County Youth Camp Tar Pit near Selbyville.
The site is located at 76 Youth Camp Road in Selbyville and includes approximately 0.8 acres. From approximately 1908-1935, the Buckhannon Chemical Company operated on a small portion of the land that is now the Upshur County Youth Camp. The company produced charcoal, wood alcohol, and calcium acetate by burning timber in air tight kilns or ovens. An approximate 0.8 acre area was used for the disposal of pine tar, a byproduct of their operations. The area is currently fenced. Contaminants of potential concern include volatile organic compounds, semivolatile organic compounds, and metals. Future land use will be recreational.
OER has negotiated 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.