Pickens OKs contract for cleanup of old rail depot

By Pamela Dodson

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Pickens City Council members voted unanimously at Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting to approve an agreement with an Upstate company to perform an environmentally friendly cleanup at the former rail depot property at the end of the Doodle Trail.

City council approved the contract with Terracon Consultants Inc. of Taylors for an amount not to exceed $74,000 for professional services for the city’s EPA brownfield cleanup grant.

Terracon will provide services to the city to meet EPA brownfield cleanup grant requirements, which includes community outreach and education, environmental technical services, bidding and project management of the asbestos and lead-based paint removal, and assisting with compliance documentation for the EPA.

Brownfield cleanup grants provide funding for a grant recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. An eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site. Due to budget limitations, no entity can apply for funding cleanup activities at more than three sites.

The funds may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants — including hazardous substances mixed with petroleum.

The EPA has selected the city of Pickens for a brownfield cleanup grant of $127,000 for hazardous substances. The funds will be used to clean up the former rail depot property oatn 124 Railroad Street.

Originally developed as a passenger train depot with railway yard and shipping warehouses as early as 1889, the 1.9-acre site expanded in the 1930s and 1960s, when it operated as a box car assembly operation until approximately 1982.

The facility then provided repair services for the box cars until 1995, when it was used for railroad locomotive repair and refurbishing.

The site is currently contaminated with inorganic contaminants and metals. Grant funds will also be used to support community outreach activities.