UPDATE 10/4/12 @ 8:50 a.m.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A shuttered FMC Corp. hydrogen peroxide plant in South Charleston is being torn down.
FMC stopped production in 2003. The plant remained open as a distribution site until 2008.
FMC environmental manager Jim Bodamer says that asbestos removal has been completed.
The next step is to remove the plant's equipment.
The demolition is expected to be completed in May 2013.
Once the plant is torn down, FMC will clean up the 40-acre site, which Bodamer says could take until 2014 to complete.
FMC plans to sell the property after the cleanup is finished.
"The first phase is to remove all of the foundations," Jim Bodamer, the Environmental Remediation manager for the FMC corporation, says. "After removing the foundations, we field screen the soils for contamination."
Crews are on scene now, removing those foundations. The concrete that has been contaminated is taken off site. The clean concrete is broken up to lay the building blocks for the future.
"It will be used to put final grade on the site," Bodamer says. "So whoever buys it it will be ready for development."
The first phase should be complete by the end of the year, meaning a huge piece of the old FMC site will soon be ready for development after being off limits for years.
"It's another piece of property with a lot of potential; we seem to have a lot of that," South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens says. "We just need to get the potential to become a reality. But 14 acres on the riverbank with the interstate in front of it, it just has the world of potential ;we just have to make them real."
Some businesses already have been built on other areas once owned by FMC. Now the city is hoping to do the same on the rest of the property. Mullens says there already has been a lot of interest in the site from several groups, including trucking companies, mechanical companies and commercial retailers.
Once the first phase is complete at the end of this year, the second phase will start. Phase two will be going on underground for many years. The plan is to inject a bacteria into the ground to clean the groundwater. The bacteria has been developed in a lab to target the specific contaminants found on the site in South Charleston.
FMC also plans to install a line of wells throughout the property so they can monitor the contamination and treatment process. The cleanup underground can take place while things are built and developed above ground.