PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 10, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today applauded the Town of Bath, West Virginia, and its partners for successfully completing the North Berkeley Trail cleanup and restoration project in Berkeley Springs, just north of the old Berkeley Depot.
EPA provided the Town of Bath with a $100,000 brownfields cleanup grant. The hazardous substances grant funds were used to clean up the Railroad Depot Complex at Williams Street and Route 552 in Berkeley Springs which is near the North Berkeley Trail . The cleanup focused on a 0.4-acre CSX Transportation site within the complex, which was formerly used as a railroad yard and was contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and arsenic.
The first leg of the trail will run 2.2 miles from the Railroad Depot Complex to a parking lot deeded to the county by U.S. Silica Company. The trail, constructed in 1886, also serves as a right of way for the Warm Springs Public Service Sewer District.
“Brownfields cleanups like this one breathe new life into communities by boosting local economies and enhancing the quality of life for the people who live, work and play there,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Diana Esher. “We applaud the Town of Bath and its partners for leveraging the necessary resources to turn what was once a contaminated eyesore into a community asset.”
Esher also commended the Town of Bath for its nearby Green Towns, Green Jobs, Green Streets (G3) project. The project replaced traditional concrete sidewalks along Williams Street with permeable pavers and planter boxes which allows rain to infiltrate into underground cells, that contain a specially designed planting soil. These cells absorb rainwater and help control stormwater and they will allow for urban tree roots to thrive in un-compacted soils, promoting nutrient uptake and enhancing the urban tree canopy.
“The Town of Bath’s visionary approach to infrastructure should serve as a positive, sustainable example to cities and towns across the nation and around the world,” Esher said.