Pocahontas County Commissioner Discusses Green Bank Sewage Tank
Green Bank, WV – Residents of Green Bank, in northern Pocahontas County are concerned about a proposal to move an open top storage tank to the Green Bank Industrial Park. The tank would be used to temporarily hold septic tank waste, collected by Jacob Meck’s business, The Outhouse.
The tank is a remnant of the East Fork Industrial Park and is currently located at the site of the old tannery in Frank. Pocahontas County Commission President David Fleming is one of many who wonder why the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection is opposed to using it at its present location.
“I am going to be meeting with the DEP next on a different issue” he says. “But while I’m there, I’m working on arranging an appointment with Yogesth Patel; he’s the permit individual who’s been in contact with me. And he does look forward to arranging a meeting to sit down and talk with me and perhaps Jacob Meck if Jacob can attend, to talk about the possibilities of the tank in Frank. The long and short of it is I don’t know if there actually is a hang up about using the tank at Frank where it is now.”
Fleming says he’s had two site visits to look at the tank inside and out. Meck says the DEP has also given him approval to use the tank for storage.
“I think the reason that the DEP might not want to have the tank used at Frank where it is related to the East Fork Tanner cleanup that’s 15 years or more old at this point” says Fleming. “That said, we are making progress on remedying that problem as well. I’ve spoken with Mike Zeto, Head of [WVDEP] Enforcement on the phone about this and given him the indication that we are making progress on capping off the containment lagoon there; he was very pleased to hear that.”
“My hope is that with that cooperative spirit in mind, we can find a way to use the tank for Jacob Meck’s purpose at the location.”
If it stays where it is, Fleming realizes it could just shift opposition to the tank from Green Bank to Frank. But he says he ready and willing to talk to the residents about that proposal as well.
Meck also needs additional land in Green Bank to house the tank, if moved. In December the County Commission approved giving Meck an additional 9 acres adjacent to the three acres he already leases. But that doesn’t mean that Meck will see that addition in the immediate future.
“Any land the Pocahontas County Commission owns, and that includes the Green Bank land in question, has to be deeded over the counties’ development authority by state code” says Fleming “and our development authority is the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation [GVEDC]. So the way it works, the County Commission will deed the land to the GVEDC for $1.00, and at that point the GVEDC has the authority to negotiate the lease terms with the person interested in either leasing or buying for that matter.”
A survey has been completed on the land in question, but the Commission has not taken any further steps in deeding the land over to the GVEDC. The land can’t be used for residential or farming purposes. Fleming doesn’t rule out adding other restrictions before deeding it to the GVEDC.
“At our upcoming County Commission meeting this Tuesday, March 15th at 7:15pm, I have on the agenda to discuss the deed to GVEDC for Mr. Mecks’ use” he says. “At that discussion, I want us to talk about what options, if any, the County Commission still has to affect language in the deed to address the concerns the community has. I would like us to consider putting into the deed language that we won’t allow an open top sewage container; and in Mr. Meck’s defense he has already stated that he would seal off the top if he moved that tank from Frank to the Green Bank property.”
There are also questions about how to camouflage the tank in an area sensitive about the effects of a sewage tank on the neighboring properties, including the Green Bank Senior Center. Fleming says personally, he’d prefer the tank stay where it is.