Brownfields Project Update

Work continues at the Barkers Creek Industrial Park! 
 
 
As a refresher, let's look back at some of our project milestones:
 

2011

Following initial site assessments and development of potential site redevelopment plans, the WCEDA purchased the former Lusk Lumber property. 

2012 

Stafford Consultants, Inc. was selected to develop site civil development plans for the Barkers Creek Industrial Park.  They are responsible for maximizing the use and efficiency of the 10.85 acre site, including design of the roads, utilities and septic system absorption field. 

October 2014 

Potesta & Associates, Inc. was selected to perform geotechnical investigations. 

December 2014 

Upon receipt of Brownfields Assessment Grant funds from the EPA, Terradon Corporation was selected by the WCEDA to serve as the lead environmental consultant and Licensed Remediation Specialist (LRS) for the Barkers Creek redevelopment project.

June 2015 

WCEDA and the Barkers Creek Industrial Park project are awarded a $5,000 "Fast Track" Grant at the Northern WVBAC's Shark Tank Project Workshop.  The funds are designated for brownfields-related professional development for WCEDA representatives (conference / training attendance, etc.), utility and access assessments required for redevelopment, and marketing efforts for the Park site. 

January 2016 

Barkers Creek was officially accepted and entered into the WVDEP's Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP)

2016 

Work has been ongoing at the site, with tasks including field sampling and analysis, subsurface and site investigations, monitoring well installation, laboratory testing and data validation, risk assessment, and remediation plan reviews with the WVDEP and EPA. 

Early / Mid 2017

Currently, Terradon is working to complete the additional assessments requested by the WVDEP during our last project review.  Once the analysis, validation and revised risk assessment are complete, final remediation plans will be submitted for approval by the WVDEP and EPA.  At this time, Stafford Consultants will also update and submit final site civil development plans for approval.  We anticipate receipt of approvals this spring, which would allow us to bid and begin work at the site by summer. 

Late 2017 / Early 2018 

Once the remediation work is complete and approved by the WVDEP and EPA, Barkers Creek Industrial Park will receive its Certificate of Completion from the VRP.  Tenant leasing can begin immediately, and/or the WCEDA will begin redevelopment as funds permit. 
 
While this has been a long and challenging process, the WCEDA, its consultants and partners are excited about the progress that has been made and the future of Barkers Creek.  Once plans are approved and a construction schedule can be finalized, we can begin officially marketing our Industrial Park to potential tenants.  With nearly 11 acres of ready-to-build property, easy access to utilities, and travel access to points across the country, Barkers Creek will provide excellent opportunities for businesses to locate or expand and hire in Wyoming County.
 
"Fast Track" Grant Activities
 
Back in 2015, Barkers Creek team members Christy Laxton and Sue Cline attended the Shark Tank project development workshop hosted by the Northern WVBAC.  The workshop included representatives from several active brownfields projects, as well as professionals from community development, real estate, finance and marketing groups with brownfields experience, from across the State.  Each project paired with representatives from the various industries to form a "Brownfields Team" and developed a task assessment based on their current project status. Once presentations were made to the BAC group and invited judges, "Fast Track" grants were awarded to help the communities keep these efforts moving forward.
 
WCEDA received a $5,000 grant to support three key project areas:
  • Evaluation of existing utilities and/or requirements for extending necessary utilities to the Barkers Creek site.
  • Evaluation of the existing bridge access to the site to determine viability, restrictions and potential ideas for improvement / beautification.
  • Development of project marketing and business development pans, as well as support resources, for the WCEDA.

 

Through the evaluations, it was determined that the necessary utility connections are adjacent to or located near the Barkers Creek property and will be accessible to new tenants.  The existing bridge is also in suitable condition and can serve as an access point to the property moving forward.  We are still evaluating ideas for improvements to this entrance, which will be finalized along with the site design plans.

Our marketing efforts have provided continual networking opportunities for our WCEDA representatives, as well as useful guides and improvements geared towards better communications with the business community and our citizens.  Through our grant funds, the WCEDA has been able to attend the annual WV Brownfields Conferences, which provide valuable access to education and contacts supporting redevelopment projects.  In September 2016, our team had the opportunity to present the Barkers Creek project to over 200 attendees, receiving recommendations for funding sources, potential tenants, and other feedback for revitalizing our Park and region.

We were also able to hire a Marketing and Business Development Consultant from Morgantown, WV to provide contract services for this grant area. Our Consultant specializes in engineering and construction industry projects and, through her working relationship with the Northern WVBAC, served as the Marketing Representative for the Shark Tank workshop.  Over the past year, she has supported the WCEDA with development of marketing plans and schedules, presentations, website and social media improvements, and other communications efforts. These activities not only help us market Barkers Creek, but also provide us with more efficient and effective means of communicating all of our projects and services. 


About the U.S. EPA Brownfields Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines Brownfields as "abandoned, idled or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination."  In a broader sense, Brownfields may be any property where actual or suspected contamination impairs the property value.

Since its inception in 1995, the EPA's Brownfields Program has changed the way contaminated property is perceived, addressed and managed.  Through a results-oriented design, the EPA empowers states, communities and other economic development stakeholders to actively identify, assess, remediate, and sustainably redevelop sites within their regions.  In addition to improving and protecting the environment, these investments have resulted in increased tax bases, job growth, and decreased development pressure on exising infrastructure and open land.

Initially, EPA provided small amounts of seed money to local governments, launching hundreds of two-year brownfield "pilot" projects.  The policies developed by the EPA through this program resulted in the passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in January 2002.  The Act enabled the EPA to further expand its assistance programs, providing a variety of new tools for public and private entities interested in site reuse.

Grants continue to serve as the foundation of EPA's Brownfields Program.  Funding types include:

 

Among its many accomplishments, EPA's Brownfields Program has resulted in more than $6.5 billion in remediation and redevelopment funding leveraged from the private and public sectors and the creation of over 25,000 new jobs.  The momentum generated by the Program will leave an enduring legacy, but, with more than 450,000 (est.) brownfields sites in the U.S., a great deal of work remains. EPA's Brownfields Program continues to look to the future by expanding the types of properties it addresses, forming new partnerships, and undertaking new initiatives to help revitalize communities across the nation.