Redevelopment at the Woolfolk Chemical Superfund Site
10-Year Anniversary Site Reuse Spotlight
In 1990, EPA placed the 31-acre Woolfolk Chemical site on its Superfund National Priorities List. Since then, the community of Fort Valley, Georgia, which surrounds the site, has wrestled with the impacts the Superfund cleanup process and how to return the site to use. EPA’s cleanup addressed high levels of arsenic and other contaminants from 80 years of agricultural pesticide production. Once cleanup was complete at a portion of the site, it was redeveloped as the Peach County Public Library and the Troutman House – a tourist information center and office space for local government agencies. This successful redevelopment kept community members hopeful that the 18 acres located in the heart of downtown and still in remediation could be returned to use.
Residents of Fort Valley formed two groups whose purpose was to disseminate information about the site to the rest of community and plan for the property’s reuse. EPA awarded a Technical Assistance Grant, part of which was used to instigate a community based reuse planning process for the site. During the reuse planning process, land use planners, residents, local government, and EPA collaborated to determine viable future land uses that aligned the community’s vision and EPA’s cleanup goals. The reuse planning process enabled the community to work closely with EPA and voice their concerns about reusing the site and their hopes of how they would like to see the site reused once the cleanup is complete. The reuse planning team developed three potential scenarios for this portion of the Woolfolk Superfund site that combine commercial, recreational, and public use. EPA anticipates that cleanup will be complete within the next year, which will open up the possibility of making one of the reuse scenarios a reality at the site. What began as an incredibly challenging situation has become a source of pride and accomplishment for the Fort Valley community.
For more information please contact Melissa Friedland at 703-603-8864 or Frank Avvisato at 703-603-8949.