Brownsfields loan to help with debris, asbestos cleanup at Pelzer Mills site


By Stan Welch
At their last meeting on August 20, Anderson County Council gave second reading approval to an ordinance authorizing the county to obtain a loan from the Brownsfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF) to be used in additional cleanup at the lower mill site in Pelzer. Third reading approval is necessary for the loan to proceed, and should occur at the first September meeting of the Council.
According to the terms of the loan, provided by the Catawba Regional Council of Governments on behalf of SCDHEC, the funding will be used for removing debris piles, asbestos abatement in the large warehouse, and the demolition and disposal of a small warehouse on the site. An additional subgrant of $48,000 will be dedicated to asbestos and lead paint abatement in the administration building.
The principal loan would be $292,000, for a total cost with the subgrant of $340,000. The Pelzer Heritage Commission will once again serve as the pass through agency because their 501 (c) (3) tax status allows them to serve as the borrower. The interest rate on the loan is one per cent and thirty per cent of the $292,000 will be forgiven.
The county will provide the collateral in the form of a $250,000 certificate of deposit throughout the ten year term of the loan. Since the funding is a loan and not a grant, no matching funds are required.
The largest single expenditure, according to the proposed budget for the project, is $91,770 for the asbestos and lead paint abatement in the lower mill, with an additional $47,749 for removal of the debris piles. Planning for the various aspects of the project also consumes a large amount of the funding, especially in the aggregate.
Project management, the corrective measures plan for the first portion of the site, and preparation and implementation of the health and safety plan consumes an additional $100,727.
Gail Jeter, representative of Cardno, the environmental engineering consultants working with the PHC and the county, anticipates a start date sometime in October, once the county gives final approval and the loan is actually processed.
“We should get started in the first part of October, and be finished no later than early December.” She also acknowledged that DHEC has approved the use of any left over funding in further mediation efforts, such as capping site, or increasing the barrier between any materials and the public.