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Damascus, Va. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Bayer Corporation will donate its land on the outskirts of town to the City of Damascus at a ribbon-cutting ceremony here at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 28 at the Rock School Community Meeting Room.
The company had been under an EPA order since 1989 to clean up soil contaminated with lead on the property. Now that the contamination has been removed, the city may redevelop the land for recreational use as part of the Appalachian Trail. The 53-acre property is located adjacent to the Beaverdam Creek, about a half mile south of the downtown Damascus.
"This is a great example of a win-win situation," said John Armstead, Director of the Waste and Chemicals Management Division. "EPA has done its part to protect public health; the City of Damascus has received a valuable parcel of land for redevelopment; and the Bayer Corporation has kept its promise to give back to the community."
The Bayer site has a long history of industrial use by various owners dating back to 1918. Uses of the land include a wood processing plant and a textile dye plant owned first by Beaver Chemical Works, then American Cyanamid and finally Mobay Corporation, until the plant closed in 1986.
EPA’s clean-up order was issued to Mobay Corporation which changed its name to Miles Inc. in 1992 and then to Bayer Corporation in 1995.