More information on the proposed Fire Station #1 building site.

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A concerned department member asked me that I review my facts on the posting that I submitted concerning the site for the new station #1. So I have dug a little deeper and I am posting my findings here. If you would like to see the information for yourself or read the entire City Council agenda you can find it here: go to departments, City Council, then go to meeting agendas, followed by Council agendas and reports, then go to July 18, 2005, the part we are concerned with starts on page 102.
“A stipulation for participation in the VRP was the City’s agreement to a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants associated with the property that permits groundwater beneath the property to be used only for environmental monitoring and testing and that the property shall not be used for residential purposes or for a children’s daycare facility, schools or playground purposes. The residential exclusion does not apply to the use of the property for a fully-staffed fire Station/Administration Building.”
Source: The meeting report for Roanoke City Council July 18, 2005.
Furthermore I have the definition as found at
With certain legal exclusions and additions, the term `brownfield site’ means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Definition Source:The Brownfields Site definition is found in Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869) – “Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act” signed into law January 11, 2002.
So this site is indeed a brownfield site as described by the definition.
Also noted in the City Council Report is this:
The subject site had been developed with the Crystal Springs Laundry from approximately 1914 to 1977, at which time it was demolished. The subject site has been undeveloped since then. Soil and groundwater sampling was conducted at the subject site in 2002 and 2003 and both soil and groundwater were found to be impacted by dry cleaning solvents. A groundwater monitoring well was installed in 2004. Laboratory analyses indicated soil and groundwater at the subject site to be impacted with chloroform, 1,2-dichlorobenzene (1,2-DCB), cis-1,2,- dichloroethene (c-1,2-DCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE). Only PCE and TCE in groundwater exceeded the VRP Tier II Screening Levels and a quantitative risk assessment determined that the concentrations present at the site did not pose a significant risk.
In July 1998 during a geotechnical investigation, an underground storage tank (UST) was encountered and removed. The UST was documented to have had a release and was addressed under the Commonwealth of Virginia UST regulations. Remaining petroleum constituents were addressed under the VRP Risk Assessment.”
Later in the report it is written:
“The risk assessment concluded that contamination in the soil and groundwater at the Site did not present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment provided that the impacted groundwater at the Site is not used for drinking water purposes or development for residential or children day care purposes. Therefore, the following deed restrictions are to be incorporated: (1) groundwater beneath the Site shall not be used for any purpose other that environmental monitoring and testing and; (2) the Site shall not be used for residential purposes or for children’s (under the age of 16) daycare facilities, schools or playground purposes (although hotels and motels are not prohibited). the residential exclusion also does not apply to the use of the Property for a fully-staffed Fire Station/ Administration Building.”
All of that being said you might ask what all of this means. Well to me it means that the site has some serious contaminates left in the soil and that the Agencies involved have made sure that children are not exposed to its risks at a daycare, nor is any citizen exposed to its risk as a residence EXCEPT FIREFIGHTERS who CAN live there and CAN work there because the report was written that it is okay.
Now I know that Roanoke City asks a lot of its firefighters, and we always rise to the occasion no matter what the risk to protect its citizens. That is what we are here for. To be a public servant and protect life and property from the perils of fire, medical emergencies, and any other situation or incident that the citizens/visitors of this great City might call us for. However I do not know of any training or otherwise that the City thinks may protect us from the same ailments that others might experience while living on this Site. Yes that is right, we will be living on this site (at least the firefighters who are stationed there) and it plainly says in black and white that it cannot be used as residential. Sure there is the exception for the fire station, but why. Why would they subject us to these contaminates that they deem the rest of the citizens/visitors of the City should not be.
These are questions that need answers. If you have not emailed or called City Council on this matter and you feel the same way then you need to.

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