W.Va. DEP approves IEI cleanup plan

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved a corrective action plan for the IEI Plastics Warehouse site.

The 22-page document was released Monday afternoon and includes a timeline for cleanup of the 10-acre site which burned for more than a week in October.

Dozens of area agencies responded to contain and put out the blaze. A cloud of smoke could be seen and smelled for miles. Officials have struggled to identify exactly what was housed at the site at the time of the fire.

A cover letter from Jeremy Bandy, chief inspector for the WVDEP, said reports were received from the Naik group, the owner of the IEI Plastics warehouse, on Nov. 13, and addendums were filed Nov. 17 and Nov. 27 to the plan of corrective action.

“WVDEP has determined that the enclosed Plan of Corrective Action and addendum are acceptable, hereby approved and incorporated as a term and condition of the order,” he wrote. “Failure to adhere to the approved plan and addendum is a violation of the order.”

Jake Glance, chief communications officer for WVDEP, said the agency “gave ‘Notice to Proceed’ (NTP) on Nov. 29, so some of these activities will begin on Dec. 6 (Wednesday).”

The corrective action plan was submitted through Gator Engineering and Aquifer Restoration of Florida and includes information on site security, air quality monitoring and storm water containment.

According to the plan, removal and recycling of steel at the site will take about six weeks. Burnt materials will be tested prior to disposal to categorize the waste material.

According to the plan, the site contains an estimated 40,000 tons of burnt materials and an estimated 1,000 tons of steel. Based on those numbers, “excavation, transport and disposal of ash materials” is expected to take 27 weeks to complete.

Sunny Naik, accounts manager for SurNaik Holdings of WV, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch said questions regarding the cleanup are among the most common he receives and he was excited to hear that progress is being made in that regard. He said he hopes to see the cleanup work begin as soon as possible since a thorough clearing of the site is the only way to make sure there are no more hot spots that could re-kindle.

“The quicker, the better,” Couch said.

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