Land Revitalization Winter '06 Newsletter – Baseball Triumphs over Environmental Changes at New Charleston Baseball Stadium
"Play ball," can now be heard in downtown Charleston, West Virginia at the city's new Single A baseball park, thanks to the perseverance of city managers, engineers and contractors, and the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Environmental hazards from abandoned underground storage tanks were encountered in the construction of the facility, but each hazard was overcome, and the West Virginia Power baseball team "threw out the first ball" at the Appalachian Power Park in April 2005, as scheduled.
The culprits were three abandoned underground storage tanks which were removed from two separate locations. Petroleum releases had occurred from two of the tanks at one location and required further evaluation. The decision was made not to over-excavate contaminated soil and the tank pit was backfilled with clean fill.
However, this decision gave rise to concern from DEP about vapor migration into indoor areas at the ballpark along with the potential for groundwater contamination. Naturally, the city was concerned with a tight ballpark budget and tight construction time frame. The DEP offered to assess the extent of contamination and assist with potential corrective actions.
DEP met with the city's manager, engineers and construction contractors to review construction plans, and consider indoor air vapor scenarios to see if vapor intrusion might be a problem. At the same time, ballpark contractors encountered petroleum contaminated soil and groundwater while drilling 6-foot diameter bases for the stadium lighting. The DEP temporarily stockpiled contaminated soil and provided a 20,000-gallon tank to temporarily store contaminated water until construction in this area was completed and disposal plans finalized.
Ultimately, the DEP disposed of 56 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil and 3,200 gallons of petroleum-contaminated groundwater. The DEP also installed two potential vapor extraction wells, as access to this area would be limited in the near future based on construction plans.
Since groundwater is not used as a drinking water source in the city, potential vapor migration to indoor air was determined to be the only threat to human health.
The city contracted with a local environmental firm to design a combination vapor barrier and passive venting system using perforated horizontal pipe, and the DEP's vapor extraction wells were tied into the passive venting system. The ballpark was completed on schedule and the West Virginia Power began play in their new stadium in April 2005.