Oil Mill Property Update

An update on the Pendleton Oil Mill property:

The Town Administrator, Steve Miller, provided Mayor, Council and citizens with this information during the December Town Council Meeting:

The Mayor and Town Administrator met with the property owner and the owner’s attorney. The meeting also included the County Administrator, the Economic Development Director, and by phone a consultant for environmental remediation.   We presented again the offer Town Council approved so that we could look at entering the Brown Fields program through EPA and DHEC.  The attorney stated that they would review the offer for consideration.  Neither the attorney or the property owner has contacted us back about the offer.  The property is currently tied up in a legal battle and there is still a court order existing on the property.  As a reminder we have been advised by the County, the County’s consultant, our engineers, DHEC, EPA, and all the various consultants that have reviewed the property for EPA and DHEC to not take any actions until we can properly enter the program because it will cause the Town to potentially become a responsible party.

Immediately following the above report, the Town was presented with the below information from our engineers:

The testing and report document that the site is contaminated with arsenic but not significantly above the regions background levels and not above industrial property use standards.  Depending on the proposed future use of the property some soil removal/abatement may be required.  For example, if in the future it is used for industrial use nothing would need to be done, but if it is used for public use (park or something like that) or residential, it will likely require a minimum of 6” of soil removal hauled to a landfill and replaced with clean fill.

Also, it documents that the structures contain potential asbestos containing materials, but they did not do any testing to confirm.  Therefore, before any building demolition an asbestos survey will be needed, and all asbestos appropriately removed.

In short, the site is actually not as bad as what I would think it would be based on the history of the site and the current condition of it but will require some additional testing and potentially remediation work to fully clear it for redevelopment.  However, it appears that the site is qualified to receive funding from the EPA to conduct the assessments and leads me to believe the EPA would also provide the funds to conduct any cleanup needed to redevelop the site in to something else.

While there is no direct threat to our Community, that does not mean there are no environmental issues that need to be taken care of on the site. The amount of cleanup is still cost prohibited without the volunteering cooperation of the property owner and assistance through Federal and State programs.  The Town will continue to keep lines of communication open with both property owner and funding agencies in hopes to eventually bring all parties together to correct the issue. We will continue to update our citizens as we have information.

We have provided a link below to the actual assessment provided by a firm through EPA.

For questions, please call Town Hall at 646-9409.

Pendleton Oil Mill – Final Removal Assessment