CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Cleanup after an enormous warehouse fire in Parkersburg is expected to take 27 weeks for the removal of 40,000 tons of burned material.
The state Department of Environmental Protection announced today it has approved the cleanup plan for the warehouse that burned for eight days. DEP ordered the warehouse owner to come up with the plan.
MORE: Read the cleanup plan.
International Export Import, the owner of the warehouse that started burning Oct. 21, says it will take several steps to ensure the site is cleaned up safely.
The company says it has already installed perimeter fencing at the site.
The company also plans to install air monitoring stations on the boundaries of the site to detect any potential airborne emissions.
“Continuous air monitoring will be performed for airborne particulates,” the company wrote in its plan.
If emissions are detected flowing from the facility, the company may temporarily cease site cleanup, spray down ash stockpiles with water cover ash stockpiles with plastic sheeting or take other steps for control.
The company plans to construct a temporary storm water control barrier berm to prevent runoff from the property into the Little Kanawha River.
The company also may pump collected storm water into steel holding tanks and then tested for materials such as aluminum, lead, iron, vinyl chloride and others.
Longer term, the company plans to remove metal from the site with the help of local recyclers. That process is expected to take about six weeks.
The company then plans to excavate and stockpile 4,000 cubic yards of burned material. The company plans to have the material tested to determine if it is hazardous or not.
Non-hazardous waste would be trucked and disposed at an area landfill.
The company plans to keep track of its activities through a Site Cleanup Completion Report that would include results of laboratory analyses, copies of non-hazardous waste manifests, landfill weigh tickets and field notes from onsite IEI representatives.
Meanwhile, at the state Capitol today, Gov. Jim Justice and other officials issued a check to Wood County officials today for $1.466 million to reimburse them for expenses related to fighting the fire.
The money came from the governor’s contingency fund. Justice said the money would be paid back either by IEI or its insurer.
As those who participated in Wood County’s battle against the fire gathered around the governor today, he offered praise.
“All around me here are heroes. That’s all there is to it,” Justice said.