Greif Brothers Site Brownfield Cleanup
Size: 12 acres
Status: Completed 2014
Home to a drum manufacturing plant for approximately 88 years, the 12-acre Greif Brothers property in Cullman, Ala., had been deemed almost worthless as a result of the prevalent contamination caused by its industrial past. While the plant shut down in 2000, its impact on the City continued long after the machines quit running. The City of Cullman spent years recruiting new businesses to occupy the site, but the environmental hazards sent potential occupants running the other direction. The City enlisted environmental experts from GMC to further explore and determine the extent of contamination and to begin developing a plan that would not only clean up the property, but breathe new life into the community. GMC developed a strategic remedial plan that entailed removing obsolete buildings, containing the hazardous substances present on site and intensifying the natural breakdown of the spilled contaminants. The team began by focusing its efforts on high-priority areas of concern. By establishing the phytoremediation plots surrounding these areas, they were able to evaluate the potential for successfully utilizing this innovative and cost-effective approach as a cleanup strategy for the entire 12-acre site. The team was also able to cut demolition costs by an estimated 60 percent through extensive recycling of materials. GMC conducted numerous public meetings throughout the process to keep local residents updated on ongoing activities. The remedial actions implemented permitted construction of the City’s new police department, along with renovations and significant additions to the on-site maintenance shop to continue without interruption and enhanced the overall appearance of the facilities. Prior to implementing the cleanup plan, the area was avoided by the community at all cost. Today, not only are people seen passing by the site daily, but the area has become a significant part of one of the city’s prime venues for local, and even regional events that draw huge crowds and high profile entertainment. Results from a final round of testing conducted in October 2014 indicated all of the cleanup goals for a major hot spot had been met except one, which was .02 parts per million above its goal. However, because of the sustainable nature of the remedial strategies implemented, the enhanced natural degradation of contaminants will continue, thus achieving the goal in the near future. The Greif Brothers Phytoremediation project was recognized by the prestigious Battelle Memorial Institute and was also presented at the Contaminated Site Management-Europe 2015 Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
Scope of Services