CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Voluntary Remediation Agreement (VRA) has been finalized between the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the restructuring team for Freedom Industries to clean up the site of the 2014 crude MCHM spill through the DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program.
The VRA was signed by DEP Friday and provided to Freedom’s chief restructuring officer Monday evening. Under the agreement, the Freedom restructuring team and environmental consultants will work with the DEP to identify human health and ecological risks associated with potential future uses of the site; establish applicable remediation standards; and ensure that those standards are maintained. Upon completion of the remediation, a final report will be submitted to the DEP’s Office of Environmental Remediation for review and approval.
Among other requirements, the VRA lists the required work plans and reports and a schedule for when each must be submitted and approved. The agreement also spells out the procedures for extending deadlines if necessary; procedures for termination of the agreement; the requirement that all laboratories used must be certified by DEP and that all sampling and analyses are performed according to approved methods; requirements related to storage and preservation of all documents related to the work and the reimbursement of DEP for reasonable administrative costs. The agreement also details the rights of DEP to bring action against the applicant for any violation except for the specific violations or releases being remediated in the work plan, or to seek other appropriate relief to protect human health or the environment from pollution or contamination at or from the site not remediated in accordance with the agreement.
The Jan. 9, 2014, MCHM spill, which also involved a second material known as PPH, resulted in the contamination of a drinking water system that serves 300,000 West Virginia residents. In response to the spill, Freedom was ordered to cease operation of the site as a storage area, to empty and remove all aboveground storage tanks and to remediate the site.
As part of a consent order with the DEP finalized in November, Freedom can complete the remediation through the OER’s Voluntary Remediation Program if accepted into the program. However, the consent order also states that if Freedom is not accepted into the program, withdraws from the program or otherwise fails to complete the program requirements, the company must still complete the cleanup under a plan approved by DEP. Freedom’s application for the program was accepted by OER in late February and the project was assigned number VRP #15017.
The site, located at 1015 Barlow Drive in Charleston, includes approximately 4.87 acres. Prior to being used as a chemical storage and distribution facility, it was a bulk petroleum storage area. A Certificate of Completion was issued to Pennzoil Quaker State on Dec. 7, 2004, for cleanup of contamination associated with petroleum bulk storage operations. That work was completed under voluntary remediation project VRP #04506.
Future site use is unknown, but is anticipated to be commercial/industrial.
The VRA can be read in its entirety here
Questions and comments regarding Freedom’s involvement in the Voluntary Remediation Program or about the program in general can be directed to either DEP Project Manager David Long (WVDEP—OER, 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV 25304; 304-926-0499, ext. 1265) or Licensed Remediation Specialist Ira Buchanan (ARCADIS U.S. Inc., 111-D Sanders Lane, Bluefield, VA 24605; 800-897-1063).