Wood County Commission wants update on IEI cleanup

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission wants an update on the cleanup at the site of the IEI Plastics fire last October.

Commissioners want to set up a time when officials from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and others can brief them on the cleanup at the former Ames site. A huge fire broke out last October and burned for a week before being extinguished.

The Camden Avenue plant, now owned by Intercontinental Export-Import Plastics, or IEI, was used to store plastics and other items.

Commission President Blair Couch said Monday the last update the commission received was at the beginning of February.

”It is time to get another one,” he said. ”We need to get someone up here and in front of us to talk about this.”

Wood County 911 Director Rick Woodyard said officials with DEP have been on the site regularly and appear to be following the original plan laid out to clean up the site.

Commissioner Robert Tebay wanted a report on the status of the property.

There has been interest from businesses looking for a level tract of land to develop, he said.

”Could it be put up for sale for future development?” Tebay asked of the IEI property.

Other officials had doubt it was ready at this point.

”I would say it would be some time before that property would be ready for anything,” Woodyard said.

There is a procedure to deal with the materials on the property, including testing and removal by people trained to handle potentially hazardous materials, officials said.

”That is a long-term process, especially with the magnitude of what is there,” Woodyard said.

Couch said neighbors have complained that steel was being taken off the site without it going through a cleaning process. People were concerned a couple weeks ago about a green liquid coming off the site. Officials reported it was a dye to track drainage off the site.

Couch went to Charleston in January to meet with WVDEP officials.

”I think we should have them up here to give an update on where things are,” Couch said. ”We need an update on everything.”

County Administrator Marty Seufer will be contacting officials to see what can be set up.

In other business Monday:

∫ Commissioners discussed having law firms make presentations on why they should represent the county in lobbying efforts to get a Home Rule bill for counties introduced in the state Legislature.

The county wants to get Home Rule to initiate a 1 percent sales tax outside of the cities that already have it to bring the county in line with the local municipalities. Officials want to raise money to pay for expenses in the county, including the jail bill, but be able to lower the levy rate on local property owners.