2000 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 16:53:03 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] State-Industry Partnership Yields $425,000 For Voluntary Cleanups
[To read the complete Press Release go to

North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources

Contact: Chrystal Bartlett 919-733-4996 ext. 425 Date: June 1, 2000
Distribution: Statewide

State-Industry Partnership Yields $425,000 For Voluntary Cleanups 

RALEIGH - The Division of Waste Management has reached an agreement with
eight North Carolina manufactured gas plant owners to assess and clean up
27 abandoned coal gas operation sites scattered across the state. 

The agreement, signed on May 1, 2000 allows the parties responsible for
environmental hazards to voluntarily consent to do the necessary clean up
work under departmental oversight. Part of the $425,000 included in the
agreement will be used to pay the salaries of two division environmental
engineers. The engineers will work exclusively on coal tar cleanup for
three years. In return, the industries can accelerate their cleanup
schedules by having qualified state personnel devoted to reviewing their

The agreement between the agency and the North Carolina Manufactured Gas
Plant Group creates two innovative precedents. First, it represents the
division's first effort with directly funded state oversight. By obtaining
those costs from the responsible parties before the cleanup begins, the
division can hire staff dedicated to the assessment and cleanup of these
sites without any cost to taxpayers. Prior to the agreement, the division
lacked the resources to oversee these cleanups within a reasonable
timeframe. Second, this is the first cleanup planned between the division
and a group of responsible parties with multiple sites. By negotiating with
NC MGP, DWM is saving considerable time and resources. 

Ralph Roberts, NC MGP chairman agrees, "Negotiating one master agreement
for all of the MGP sites saves the division and the MGP Group members' time
and money compared to negotiating 27 separate agreements. More importantly,
having two division engineers dedicated to our sites will permit us to move
forward with site cleanups. This will allow group members to remove
liabilities from our books and put these properties back into productive
uses. This agreement is good for the division, taxpayers, NC MGP Group
members and the communities where the former MGP sites are located." 

The unusual agreement came about when division officials suggested the
various companies that owned abandoned coal gas plants conduct voluntary
cleanups. The companies formed their own industry group, NC MGP, to
negotiate with the division. The pact commits all group members to
assessments and necessary remediations at each site. If three years is
insufficient, those members with incompletely cleaned sights can renew the
agreement, and provide additional funds for continued oversight. The
division has agreed to prioritize cleanup operations in order to
concentrate on sites with the highest environmental threats. 

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