Commission gives 3 acres to Star City

Officials Eye Uses for Former Quality Glass Site

Morgantown Dominion Post
26 December 2012
By Tracy Eddy

Star City could partner with the Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) to turn the former Quality Glass site into a trail head with parking for Caperton Trail users and a boat slide for canoes and kayaks, Mayor Allen Sharp said.

The Monongalia County Commission recently approved a deed, giving the 3-acre site — on Van Voorhis Road — to Star City. Commissioners also OK’d a memorandum of understanding with the town, saying Star City will comply with the restrictions on the property.

Those conditions — such as no digging or drilling — were put in place because the land was remediated as part of a state program that cleans up brownfields.

Sharp said Star City is aware of the restrictions and will comply with them.

Town council has already approved the deed. Sharp said he recently received the memorandum of understanding.

“I’m glad it’s coming to fruition,” he said, adding that the project has been in the works for several years.

The memorandum of understanding also states Star City won’t hold Mon County liable for the property — it will become the town’s responsibility.

Commissioner Eldon Callen said the county doesn’t expect any issues, but wanted the document in place to be cautious.

A land-use covenant between the County Commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection was approved in April. The document explains the restrictions put on the property to protect the cleanup and remediation work that was done.

Those restrictions include prohibiting excavation, drilling or other penetration of the land, unless it is done by a contractor who is qualified and knowledgeable about releases and exposures to contaminants at the site.

Also, the extraction of groundwater is not permitted unless it’s for monitoring or remediation purposes.

The site must be inspected at least twice a year to make sure it still complies with the covenant.

The former Quality Glass site isn’t in Star City’s municipal limits — it’s three or four miles away. Annexation wouldn’t be necessary, as cities and towns can own property outside their limits.

The property slopes down to the Monongahela River and has a gravel lot with about 16 parking spaces.

Sharp said people who walk, jog or bike on the trail have already started using the area for parking.

The cleanup at the Quality Glass site started in 2009. Soil contaminated with metals and polyarmatic hydrocarbon (a heavier type of petroleum that can contain benzene) was removed. The remaining soil was capped and covered with more soil.

Trash and other debris were removed.

The remediation cost about $350,000, most of it covered by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Cleanup grant. The county contributed about $47,000.