LISBON - The deal with the Tervita Corp. to purchase the former Youngstown-Southern Railroad fell through because of two environmental concerns, which should not have been enough to cancel the deal, Tracy Drake, CEO of the Columbiana County Port Authority, said Monday.
Drake and Larry Drane of Tetra Tech, which did the environmental study, presented the results to the port board. One item of concern was oil in the area of the car barn in Negley.
Drane reported the oil was dealt with originally in the 1990s when it was discovered and was believed to have come from another site across the road. The other site was at one point a tank farm. After the owner of the tank farm had monitoring wells built the state fire marshal in 1995 issued a No Further Action letter to the railroad company.
After the meeting, Drake said if there are any health concerns now due to the oil at the 13-acre car barn site, they could be dealt with now.
The other concern was oil near a train refueling site in North Lima. Drake said there appeared to be oil staining the ground in the area surrounding the place where the diesel engines are filled. Similar places usually have a mat to soak up the oil, according to Drake, but it is not known yet how long ago the mat at this particular location was put into the ground.
Both the port authority and Tervita had studies conducted about the possible environmental concerns. The Tervita study also noted two locations along the tracks in Signal and Negley where derailments of trains caused spills in the past. However, the study noted vegetation now covers the sites and past documentation reveals there appears to be no environmental threats.
Drake said Tervita still plans to purchase the demolition debris landfill north of Negley, but not the railroad, which has been used in the past to transport materials to the site for disposal. He said the port authority will continue to support Tervita's efforts to bring jobs to the area.