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Local business to take part in environmental cleanup | News, Sports, Jobs

Local business to take part in environmental cleanup | News, Sports, Jobs

FOLLANSBEE — As the present owner of land formerly held by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., a local business plans to pursue an environmental cleanup ordered of the steel firm in 1998.

Empire Go-Green Recycling is seeking approval to rehabilitate about 36 acres between Veterans Drive and the Norfolk-Southern Railroad under guidelines set by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Voluntary Remediation Program.

Empire is currently applying for a permit through the department. Public comment is accepted up to January 3. The Brooke County Public Library has a digital copy.

Empire has stated its intention of excavating and containing contaminated soil. Officials from the DEP state that the contamination includes derivatives and metals from landfilling and other industrial activities at the site over the years.

The application states that it was used from the 1950s until the 1970s as a sand & gravel quarry. It also served as the site for coal loading and equipment fueling in 1950s and 1960s, before it was purchased by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp.

According to the state’s records, the steel firm used it for the disposal of basic oxygen furnace residuals, debris from plant demolition and coal tar decanter sludge.

The site is less that a mile from Ohio River, but it has no streams or surface waters, according to staff at Environmental Standards Inc., an environmental consulting company hired to assess it.

It is part of 610 acres previously owned by Wheeling Pittsburghh Steel. This cleanup was ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prior to Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel’s bankruptcy.

6twelve Properties acquired more than 400 acres of the property. In 2017, the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center recognized 6twelve Properties for their efforts to rehabilitate the other lots under the direction the EPA.

The center noted the company’s removal of industrial slag, steel filings and tar decanter sludge from the lots.

Empire Go-Green Recycling, which is headed by Scott Ewusiak (formerly of 6twelve Properties), is a subsidiary company of Empire Diversified Energy.

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The Florida-based company promoted the site, which was formerly known by Trimodal Terminal as a barge loading facility that can be used for different industries.

It is a potential hub for industrial transportation in the midwest that could provide hundreds of jobs. It has been dubbed the Port Of West Virginia.

$26 Million in bonds have been issued by the West Virginia Development Authority to finance the development and construction of wharfs, docks and other facilities.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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