Environmental Remediation & Redevelopment
Our commitment to site remediation encompasses full compliance with applicable regulations – including the “Superfund” law – and our corporate commitment to return lands and property to fully functioning, safe and beneficial uses. In the case of the Superfund law, which requires clean-up of sites contaminated with certain chemicals, FMC’s work to remediate a Front Royal, Va., site is a fitting example of FMC’s extensive commitment to compliance and good citizenship. Our leadership efforts at a variety of sites are achieving transformational results.
Avtex Fibers Superfund Site, Front Royal, Va. – This manufacturing site, built in 1940 by American Viscose, was once one of the world’s largest producers of rayon, an instrumental product for NASA’s space shuttle program. The facility also made tire cord, parachutes and jump suits for the Department of War during World War II. FMC purchased the plant in 1963 and sold it in 1976 to Avtex Fibers Corporation. In 1989, this Avtex site was cited for violations of Virginia environmental laws, associated primarily with wastewater discharges into the Shenandoah River. It was shut down. FMC, as the sole surviving owner of the plant, became the mandated “potentially responsible party” for cleanup purposes.
FMC worked with local officials and residents to form a community advisory team. The Avtex Multi-Stakeholders’ Group was created in response to community requests to enhance citizen involvement and participation in the process of achieving an effective and acceptable cleanup and reuse of the site. Local citizens, representing a broad cross-section of the community, serve alongside representatives of the five sponsor organizations: EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Association, and FMC. FMC and EPA listened to the community’s desire to redevelop the site. FMC agreed to work with EPA to pilot a brownfield project at the site.
Remediation and cleanup activities at the Front Royal site are steadily proceeding. The Warren County Economic Development Authority has assumed ownership of the Avtex site, with plans to redevelop 170 acres as a business park, 240 acres as a conservancy park and 31 acres as a seven-field soccer complex. Since nearly 50 percent of the working population in Warren County must leave the county to find employment, the business park offers the potential for good local jobs and an increased tax base. For more information, visit wceda.com.
CPG Site, South Charleston, W.Va. – A former CPG plant operated here from the early 1900s to 1985, producing carbon tetrachloride, caustic, and other organic chemicals before being decommissioned and demolished. The site became the first property entered into the West Virginia Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), with FMC establishing a Public Advisory Group to provide recommendations on cleanup and redevelopment. By working closely with the community and using risk-based standards, a state-of-the-art automobile service center and two dealerships were constructed on parcels of the property, providing a safe and economically beneficial reuse of the site for the local community. Demolition of the property’s steam plant is underway, with completion in mid-2008, opening the way for two additional acres of redevelopment under the VCP.
FMC Phosphorus Plant, Pocatello, Idaho – Since the closure of this phosphorus production plant in 2001, FMC has worked closely with local and regional governments, economic development organizations and the community to identify redevelopment options for the plant site. While the company has long stated its impartiality to any specific redevelopment strategies, it has maintained a commitment to assisting any effort that would make the best use of the site’s assets, while adhering to its remediation obligations and timetable.
The phosphorus plant’s closure cost local communities more than 600 jobs, along with tax revenues and income from goods and services purchased by the plant while in operation. FMC’s goal has been to help restore those jobs and reinvigorate local economies through productive use of the site.
In 2005, FMC donated a portion of the land and assets on the site to Power County, Idaho, enabling the County to move forward with plans for possible development. The first opportunity for a clean-coal technology power plant was later moved to another location in Power County because the FMC site could not accommodate the plant’s footprint. Power County recognizes but for FMC’s efforts, the clean coal technology plant would not have been attracted to the area.
The Power County Development Authority (PCDA) continues to entertain development opportunities for the site which best utilize the assets available, and which are compatible with County development plans. FMC continues to provide support to PCDA in this endeavor.
Municipal Land Fill, Nitro, W.Va. – Smith Street was a former municipal landfill where FMC was permitted by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to dispose of waste during the early 1970s. FMC and the City of Nitro entered the site into the West Virginia Voluntary Cleanup Program as co-applicants, working closely with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. FMC excavated waste from residential backyards and installed a soil cover over the former landfill. The DNR is now eligible to obtain federal funding to construct a boat launching ramp on the closed landfill, which the City will maintain and lease, providing an attractive reuse for local residents.