Work to begin March 12 to close and cap Pelzer Mills dump sites


By David Meade
Approximately 25 people attended a public meeting at the Pelzer Community Building Monday to hear details of a project to close and cap two old dumpsites in Pelzer. The project, when completed, will close the door on the one portion of a Brownsfield Cleanup on the Pelzer Mills properties that began over eight years ago. It will also make the property usable with plans for a possible Saluda River overlook park and walking trail. (Pictured – Dale Carpenter of A&D Environmental provided details on the work process and truck routes)
The Pelzer Heritage Commission (PHC) and Anderson County recently received a $157,000 award from the S. C. Brownsfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF).
The BCRLF grant provided funds needed for the project due to costs being more than budgeted in the first grant.
“We didn’thave enough money to do the work EPA wanted done with the grant,” said Gail Rawls Jeter of Cardno, the company assisting the PHC with grants and administering the Brownsfield Cleanup project.
The grant was awarded through SCDHEC, which administers the state’s revolving loan fund.
The $157,000 award will be combined with a previously-awarded $400,000 EPA cleanup grant. The total disposal site project budget is approximately $500,000.
Also attending the meeting were PHC members, Town of Pelzer Mayor and Council, Jeter of Cardno, Mark Berenbrok of DHEC, Michael Foreman of Anderson County and Dale Carpenter of A&D Environmental Services LLC.
PHC attorney West Cox welcomed everyone to the meeting and said information would be presented on what to expect over the next couple of weeks.
Jeter explained that the project consists of closure and capping the two Pelzer Mill dump sites.
The two sites include an East parcel, located on the river side of the railroad tracks, and a West Parcel on the Hwy. 20 side of the railroad.
Work on the two parcels will include clearing shrubs and brush and mulching it back onto the property. Eighteen inches of clay, will be brought in to cover the sites and compacted. Six inches of top soil will be added and seeded with grass.
There will be some silt fencing installed around the work area, Jeter said.
The project is expected to be completed in seven to nine weeks. The work schedule will include hours of operation between 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with a break for lunch from noon to one. There will be no work done on Good Friday, March 30.
A temporary fence will be installed on Parker Street.
Jeter reminded Pelzer residents that the work is being done on a hazardous substance cleanup site and that there will be heavy equipment. She reminded people to “be careful.”
Dale Carpenter of A&D Environmental, the company doing the work, provided details on the work process and truck routes. He said the construction entrance for the West side parcel will be set up March 12 and will be followed by placing the silt fence, clearing, and surveyors on the property.
Work will begin on the West side parcel, he said. Top soil will be hauled in and then work will begin on the East side parcel.
Once top soil is brought in, there will be seeding and drainage wells installed.
Carpenter said the project is slated to be completed in seven weeks, but nine weeks are allocated in case there are any rain delays.
Truck routes for work on the West parcel will be: Main St., Finley St., Parker St. to the entrance on the corner of the property. There will be truck route signs installed, Carpenter said.
The project will consist of approximately 600 truck loads of dirt being moved in.
Truck route for work on the East side will be: Hwy. 20 to Smythe St., left to Stevenson to Conner to Parker.
Carpenter said a street sweeper will be available to help with cleaning streets and a flagman will be brought in if needed.
There was some discussion about the truck routes, with Mayor Roger Scott and others asking about the routes.
Carpenter said they will re-evaluate the routes to see if there is a better way in and out of the work areas.
“Hopefully you will have a very usable product when we get it done,” Carpenter said.
Mark Berenbrok said the primary DHEC concern with the project was having an adequate amount of cover, which needed to be about two feet.
He said avoiding expanding the footprint of the existing dump area and keeping a 1 to 3 grade to avoid erosion were also concerns.
“We are reconfiguring existing debris to lesson the slope on the east disposal area,” he said.
In other words, Berenbrok said “they were moving some material, to better slope and better stabilize the site.”
There was a question from one resident about use of the property once the project is completed.
West Cox stated there are plans for a possible overlook park on the western parcel with a walking trail down the east parcel to the river. “There will be more input meetings on that,” he said.
Jeter praised everyone for their support of the cleanup project. “Anderson County has been very supportive of everything that has been done. It has been a nice joint effort between the town, DHEC, Anderson County and PHC. It is nice to see everybody working together to accomplish this for the town and getting it started.”
Michael Foreman said PHC and the Pelzer community all played a role in the project.
“It was driven a lot by PHC and the town. PHC provided a vision,” he said.
According to Foreman, a big part of the project happening was “The Pelzer community coming together with a unified vision on what they wanted to do with the site. We are very happy to help.”
PHC president Dianne Lollis said she was impressed with what is being done and that “the future looks bright for the town of Pelzer.”
“We worked over seven years to get this done,” she said.
Lollis said she is already looking to the next PHC project, which she said is reviving the veterans memorial project for the Monkey Park.
“I hope when we complete this project we will be able to complete the veterans memorial,” she said. “The PHC is in the porcess of raising funds for that project.”
They are also planning a dedication ceremony for a flag pole that has recently been erected at the lower mill site.
According to Lollis, the flag pole is the original flag pole that was placed at the site in 1941 or 1942. Rep. Anne Thanyer has donated a flag to be flown on the pole, Lollis said.
The dedication ceremony will be announced soon she said.