Pelzer residents hear about grant application

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Grant could help with mill dump cleanup

By David Meade

Approximately 25 people attended a public meeting Monday to hear about a Brownfields Cleanup Grant being applied for to help with cleanup of the old Pelzer Mill trash dump located on Parker St and Frost St. in Pelzer.

Pelzer Heritage Commission Vice President Larry Coker, who spearheaded the recent effort to obtain ownership of the Pelzer Mill properties, said the organization is applying for two brownfields grants for two parcels of approximately 28 acres.

Gail Rawls Jeter, Brownfields Specialist with Cardno, is helping the Pelzer Heritage Commission with the grant application, explained the grant and presented information about the properties to the group. Jeter has been involved in previous brownfields assessment work done at the mill property for the Town of Pelzer.

The grant application is based on information from a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) which was done on the site in Feb. 2011 with help from Anderson County.

The study concluded a historical recognized environmental condition from previous use as a dump as well as the presence of additional household garbage from more recent unpermitted dumping.

Contaminants including metals, arsenic, lead and multiple Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), from burning, were found in samples done at the site.

According to the grant application, three options for proposed cleanup included: taking no action; excavation and off site disposal of contaminated soils; or excavation of the top six inches of contaminated soils/debris with a two foot cap and a retaining wall.

Option three was selected as the most appropriate and viable option according to the draft grant application.

Discussion during the meeting suggested that instead of excavation, the dump site should just be covered with a cap because of underlying materials furthur down that are the same as those found on top.

The grant states Pelzer residents are impacted by four parcels of unsecured property with known contamination exceeding industrial and residential RSLs and another five parcels that may be contributing contamination to the environmet

The grant application also gives insight into possible use of the dump site property as an Overlook Park on the Saluda.

The Journal will have a more comprehensive report on the meeting and the grant application and what is means for the Pelzer community in this week’s online and print edition.