ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Mt. Pleasant site to undergo environmental study

Renatta Signorini
| Friday, April 21, 2017, 10:12 p.m.
A Mt. Pleasant man is interested in buying a lot that once housed a glass plant to build a structure in which to house his trucking company equipment, as seen along South Depot Street in Mt. Pleasant Township, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The property is considered a brownfield and with EPA money through the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, soil and other testing is being conducted to help officials determine what, if any, contaminants remain and how the property can be reused.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A Mt. Pleasant man is interested in buying a lot that once housed a glass plant to build a structure in which to house his trucking company equipment, as seen along South Depot Street in Mt. Pleasant Township, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The property is considered a brownfield and with EPA money through the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, soil and other testing is being conducted to help officials determine what, if any, contaminants remain and how the property can be reused.
A Mt. Pleasant man is interested in buying an empty lot that once housed a glass plant to build a structure in which to house his trucking company equipment, as seen along South Depot Street in Mt. Pleasant Township, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The property is considered a brownfield and with EPA money through the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, soil and other testing is being conducted on the site to help officials determine what, if any, contaminants remain and how the property can be reused in the future.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A Mt. Pleasant man is interested in buying an empty lot that once housed a glass plant to build a structure in which to house his trucking company equipment, as seen along South Depot Street in Mt. Pleasant Township, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The property is considered a brownfield and with EPA money through the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, soil and other testing is being conducted on the site to help officials determine what, if any, contaminants remain and how the property can be reused in the future.

An environmental study will help determine the appropriate reuse of a former Mt. Pleasant glass factory by assessing the level of any residual contaminants.

The study will determine what, if any, glass-making hazards remain on the vacant brownfield site, said April Kopas, director of the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County. The results will be shared with borough council.

“We want to make sure we get them that proper due diligence,” Kopas said. “Hopefully then, it's more marketable at the end of the day.”

It has been a long process to evaluate the properties, which are located behind American Architectural Salvage, along railroad tracks and South Depot and Bridgeport streets. Council in 2008 accepted a donation of the property from the Levin family, which operates a Main Street furniture store.

Buildings on the site had been used as a warehouse for the family's business and, before that, as the Bryce Brothers glass plant. An arson fire in 1998 destroyed the warehouse, which had been mostly emptied after the Levins built another facility elsewhere.

Bryce Brothers was established in Mt. Pleasant in 1896 and made hand-blown glass. It became part of Lenox Crystal in the mid-1900s.

The borough has control of about nine acres there, and the county is guiding local officials through the process and providing grant funding, Kopas said. Testing and reports are being funded by a grant through the Environmental Protection Agency. Kopas estimated the total cost at about $80,000.

The challenge in marketing the site has been determining the level of environmental contaminants, she said.

It's the only part of Mt. Pleasant that remains undeveloped, borough manager Jeff Landy said. The project would have been difficult to tackle without the county's help, he said.

“It's expensive, and it takes time,” Landy said.

Nearby resident Bob Karfelt, who owns RKN Trucking, wants to buy a portion of the land to build a garage for his business. He discussed the matter with council this week. Karfelt parks his trucks there with the borough's permission and maintains the lot.

“My whole goal, plan, is to wait for the report” and forge ahead with purchasing the property, Karfelt said. “I've been trying for five years or more.”

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me