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$500K to be used for MIP 2-acre site

The West Virginia Land Stewardship Corp. received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to get the Morgantown Industrial Park ready for redevelopment.

The grant will go toward the removal of dilapidated structures on a 2.31-acre site, which once served as a coal-fired power plant and water filtration plant that serviced the federal government’s ordnance and chemical manufacturing facilities during World War II.

WVLSC, a nonprofit, will use the federal monies as well as in-kind contributions from Enrout Properties LLC, the owner of the 500-acre Morgantown Industrial Park.

“We will put out a Request for Qualifications for contractors this summer and we anticipate that the work will begin this fall,” Jessica McDonald, WVLSC’s director of operations, said in an email. “The grant funds will be available Oct. 1.”

Depending on what is discovered on the site, remediation efforts can take anywhere from one to two years to complete, she said. The site has not been developed because of the cost of removing dilapidated buildings and environmental concerns.

“For example, if the buildings that need to be torn down contain asbestos that can be separated from non-asbestos containing materials, we will have to dispose of those materials in a particular way to comply with environmental laws,” McDonald said.

Enrout is updating the park’s barge access and is working with state and local officials to develop a new interchange off I-79. The connector that is being planned is north of the I-68 and I-79 interchange.

When site remediation is completed, McDonald said Enrout will build a loading and storage facility to make the transfer of articles hauled by rail easier and more convenient.

“West Virginia needs to better position itself to compete for the quality jobs provided by manufacturing and distribution companies,” said Kevin Adrian, Enrout’s co-owner. “The West Virginia Land Stewardship Corp. is contributing to this effort by redeveloping this site.”

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