Environmental testing to occur at abandoned SC mill site

June 15, 2019 GMT

LYMAN, S.C. (AP) — Environmental testing could start by the end of the month at an abandoned mill in South Carolina to determine how best to clean it up.

Lyman officials hope the 50-acre (8 hectare) property could be redeveloped to bring new life to an area that has become an eyesore after the plant closed in 2005.

“We are just starting the process,” said Mayor Larry Chappell. “In the future, I don’t know what could go out there. It could be houses, storefronts.”

The Environmental Protection Agency agreed in April to provide the town with technical assistance in testing the site, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported. The testing will be done in two phases and is scheduled for completion later this year.


Town Administrator Gregg Miller said the extent of contamination is unknown below ground. There’s still some asbestos and lead in the five-story building remaining at the site and boiler room, he said. The plant’s other structures were torn down in 2012.

“They will start testing in a couple of weeks and go around and take soil samples at certain locations at the entire site,” Miller said. “The samples will be sent off for testing and we should get the results I am hoping by September. We will know what is above ground and below ground and the cost of any cleanup.”

Miller said the area has been classified as a Brownfield site meaning previously developed land with the potential for redevelopment. The site can be considered contaminated but doesn’t have to be contaminated.

The EPA will cover the cost of testing and will work with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control through the process. The final report should offer cost estimates for cleanup and how the cost could be shared.

“Our goal is to see what type of environmental issues is there,” Miller said. “For the first time, we will know what is there and you can’t do anything until you know what you are dealing with.”

The former mill site is not within the city limits but is under the jurisdiction of Spartanburg County.


Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/