Brownfields program would address pollution issues

Published 7:49 pm Friday, September 23, 2016

To help the city develop a brownfields assessment program, Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, could award a contract to Mid-Atlantic Associates Inc.

The cost of the contract would be covered by a grant, according to a city document, which did not specify a contract amount. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the grant.

Mid-Atlantic Associates, under terms of the proposed contract, would provide the following scope of work:

  • grant-writing services;
  • property identification and inventory,
  • site characterization and assessment activities,
  • community involvement,
  • cleanup and development planning,
  • cleanup and remediation,
  • grant administration,
  • other brownfields duties not anticipated by the granting agency.

A brownfield site is any land in the United States contaminated with hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a threat to human health or the environment. A brownfield is any property that is abandoned, idle or underutilized because of the threat (real or perceived) of environmental contamination. The brownfields program helps facilitate redevelopment of contaminated land by alleviating liability for prospective developers, thereby simplifying the process of obtaining loans for redevelopment projects, according to a city memorandum written in 2008.
Approximately 17 years ago, environmental contamination was discovered on the idX/Impressions property.

When the city sold the former Hamilton Beach/Proctor Silex site to idX/Impressions there were some environmental matters addressed in the purchase agreement approved by the city and idX Impressions. The two parties acknowledged that each of them is aware of the presence of hazardous substances in the soil and groundwater on and around the property. The city agreed to take all actions and provide necessary documents needed to help idX/Impressions to apply for and obtain entry into the North Carolina “brownfields” program.

The state’s brownfield program lists the idX/Impressions property (the former Hamilton Beach/Proctor Silex site) on Springs Road as an active eligible brownfields project, along with the Beaufort Marine Park site in Belhaven. The state program lists the former Water’s Oil site, a petroleum bulk storage facility, in Washington and the Singer Co. site in Chocowinity as finalized brownfield projects.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “City Agendas.” Locate the appropriate agenda (by date) under the “Washington City Council” heading, then click on that specific agenda listing.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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