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Haywood Vocational Opportuities, Inc. to Receive the EPA Region 4 “Excellence in Site Reuse” Award

Release Date: 04/15/2013
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main) pinkney.james@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – April 15, 2013) On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present the Region 4 “Excellence in Site Reuse” award to Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Inc. (HVO) for their involvement in the redevelopment of the Benfield Industries, Inc. Superfund Site in Waynesville, North Carolina. The award ceremony will take place at 1:30 pm at the Haywood Vocational Opportunities main building located at 172 Riverbend Street in Waynesville, North Carolina.

EPA Region 4 created the “Excellence in Site Reuse” award to recognize those who have gone above and beyond in supporting the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative through outstanding efforts when redeveloping a Superfund site. HVO is being recognized for their commitment to the redevelopment of a property which had been previously been used for many heavy industrial purposes including furniture manufacturing, lumber treatment and chemical mixing until a fire destroyed the facility in 1982. EPA was in the process of cleaning up the site and HVO, an organization located next door, wished to acquire the property to expand their buildings. They worked closely with EPA and the State of North Carolina during the cleanup process to formulate their plan to purchase and redevelopment the property. HVO constructed their facility to meet the necessary environmental restrictions and worked their plans around existing monitoring wells on the site.

Now the property, previously an eyesore, houses the aesthetically designed, expanded HVO training and employment facilities, as well as 2 acres of green space. HVO provides employment opportunities and vocational training to adults with disadvantages and disabilities in Haywood County. HVO, the 5th largest employer in Haywood County employs 345 people and with the aid of their new training and employment facilities, has trained more than 1805 people since 2005.

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