Environmental issues still haunt Vista property - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Environmental issues still haunt Vista property

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)

A prime chunk of property in Columbia’s Vista remains undeveloped years after it served as a bus maintenance shop and more than 60 years after it was used to generate fuel for gas lights.
Environmental questions linger over the six acre site on Huger Street near the State Museum.
The property belongs to SCE&G, which spent at least $7 million dollars to remove contaminated soil more than seven years ago.
A development company is considering the site for construction of more than 170 apartments along with a retail and grocery store complex.
Columbia Development Corporation Director Fred Delk says the developer hopes to have the site designated a “brownfield,” which would help the company limit liability for environmental damage caused by a previous landowner.
Much of that damage can be traced back to a half century of production by a coal gasification plant, which generated massive amounts of coal tar.
Tests indicate gas is still being released from the property, despite the SCE&G remediation effort.
Delk says brownfield agreements have been used in many parts of the city to spur economic activity.
“We have found and resolved a number of very serious issues….all over the downtown and in some of the commercial corridors in the city,” he said. “All of them really can be dealt with.”

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