The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 16, 2014

Pennzoil remediation proposal approved

For site of the old Shell Downs Station

FAIRMONT — A cleanup method has been authorized for the site of the old Shell Downs Station in Rachel.

According to a June 13 press release, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection granted approval for a remediation proposal made by Pennzoil Quaker State, which is doing business as SOPUS products and owns the the 8.7-acre property on Sunshine Road.

Eight above-ground storage tanks and crude oil pumping facilities were once stationed on the piece of land. Under the cleanup method, the site will not be developed and will remain an open or green space in the future.

Pasupathy Ramanan, project manager for DEP, explained that this property in Marion County was formerly used to collect oil, push it through pipelines, and transport it to companies. The tanks have been removed from the land, which is now vacant.

An environmental assessment was done of the site to see how much contamination was left, he said. Soil and water samples were collected in order to perform a risk evaluation of the property and determine whether it can be utilized.

The assessment reports, which are available to the public, show that some petroleum contaminants were discovered below ground. A building could potentially be constructed there without a basement and with some vapor barriers, so that no vapor can come below the soil and into the building, Ramanan said.

He explained that Pennzoil, however, wants to be conservative and currently doesn’t want to sell the property or have any sort of structure built there.

The approved cleanup method actually doesn’t involve any real cleanup work. It establishes land use restrictions and specifies that the groundwater can’t be used because of the contaminants. The groundwater can only be extracted for the purposes of monitoring and remediation, and construction will be prohibited there, Ramanan said.

The conditions of the site are OK based on these restrictions, he said. Even if someone digs on the property, there is not a risk according to the evaluation that was done.

Ramanan added that there are other options if Pennzoil later decides it wants to reuse the site, or if another entity wants to purchase the land and says the risk is acceptable. In these cases, Pennzoil can always re-evaluate and reapply to the DEP for those uses.

He said Pennzoil Quaker State is now working with the DEP on the final draft of the land use covenant, which will be attached to the property and will describe the evaluation and risks. The land use covenant is under review, and upon approval, it will be recorded in the county clerk’s office.

Once the covenant is filed, Pennzoil will send a report to the DEP every year showing that the conditions still exist at the site. The company must also report to DEP if it sells the property, Ramanan said.

On April, 30, 2008, Pennzoil Quaker State made a Voluntary Remediation Agreement (VRA) with the DEP for the site.

The recent press release states, “The Act encourages voluntary cleanups of contaminated sites, as well as redevelopment of abandoned and under-utilized properties, with an objective of counteracting the lack of development on sites with contamination or perceived contamination.

“The Voluntary Remediation Program identifies and addresses potential contamination at a given site; sets applicable remediation standards; and ensures that the standards are maintained at the site. By providing financial incentives to invest in brownfields, this approach protects communities and the environment while still promoting economic development in West Virginia.”

Email Jessica Borders at or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • FGH sales proceedings move forward

    Fairmont General Hospital’s sales proceedings are moving forward with the approval of Alecto Healthcare Services Fairmont LLC’s Certificate of Need by the West Virginia Healthcare Authority July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • End near for FirstEnergy subsidies for retirees

    The end is drawing near for FirstEnergy Corp.’s health care subsidies for retirees.

    July 29, 2014

  • Chamber hosts adult education event

    The Marion County Chamber of Commerce helped local adults find new opportunities through its Beyond the Backyard adult education event Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Fairmont man pleads guilty to sexual assault, burglary

    A Fairmont man will serve three to 35 years in prison for sexually assaulting a juvenile and for nighttime burglaries.

    July 29, 2014

  • Car in standing water.JPG Sunday’s storm left standing water, flooding

     Residents and emergency crews continued to clean up the mess Monday from Sunday evening’s storms.
    Mark Paquette, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said Sunday’s storm brought heavy rain to the area. He said the worst of the weather for the week happened Sunday.
    For the rest of the week’s forecast, Paquette said the area should expect more rain this week but nothing to be concerned with.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Some county schools offer free lunch, breakfast

    They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
    That’s not really true, at least for students at Monongah, East Park and Watson elementary schools, thanks to the Community Eligibility Provision.
    The program is part of President Barack Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and allows all students at those schools to eat breakfast and lunch for free, regardless of their families’ yearly income.
    A school can use the program if 40 percent or more of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch as of the 2012-13 academic year.

    July 29, 2014

  • GAYLE MANCHIN SPEAKING -TS.jpg Manchin: Common Core ‘politicized’

     The state didn’t do a very good job of “telling the story” of Common Core standards, state school board president Gayle Manchin said Monday morning, which opened the door for an onslaught of public and administrative criticism of something few understand.
    And when you don’t tell your story, Manchin explained, someone else is sure to and they may not get it right. And that’s what she believes has happened with the message of Common Core — inaccurate social media posts, online petitions against the standards, pages dedicated to protesting them.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • GregoryDuckworth3823274.jpg Morgantown man arrested for rape of girl, 12

     A Morgantown man has been arrested for the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Marion County.
    Gregory Paul Duckworth, 24, of Morgantown, was taken into custody by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department on Friday and has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse.
    Detective Jeannette Williamson said on July 24, a 13-year-old female revealed in a Child Advocacy Center interview that on May 3, 2013, she was forced to have sex with Duckworth.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Monongah water plant receives positive report

    The Town of Monongah’s water plant has received a positive report — with no violations — from the state.
    On June 17, the water plant underwent its annual inspection by the state. Because of a loss of people that the water system serves, due to population drop with people moving away, Monongah was not required to collect as many samples for the recent inspection, said Bill McCombs, councilman and operator for the town’s water plant.

    July 29, 2014

  • Some county schools offer free lunch, breakfast

    They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads