Stout Industries, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of printed metal signs and marketing materials, had outgrown their existing building and needed additional space. The number one employer in the City of Jennings, Missouri, Stout took this responsibility seriously and wanted to avoid relocation. The only land available for expansion was the adjoining property, the Normandy Tank Car site, which had formerly functioned as a rail car repair site. During the investigation of this property, evidence of known and potentially significant contamination was discovered. It became apparent that investigative costs could exceed the value of the property, and remedial expenses were likely to be considerably more than adjoining site’s worth. Other concerns associated with pursuing expansion on this site were related to the delays associated with remediation and the stigma often attached to contaminated sites. These concerns indicated that relocation to a Greenfield appeared to be Stout’s best option.
City of Jennings officials agreed to fund site sampling activities. Unfortunately, the results of the investigation identified soil contamination related to the former rail car cleaning operation and pesticide use that was likely to cost $300,000 or more to remediate, much more than the property’s value. Environmental Operations, Inc., (EOI), Stout’s environmental consultant throughout the project, suggested that the site be considered as part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s (MDED) Brownfields incentives program. The site was declared an “eligible property” by the MDED and entered into Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MDNR) Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). More than $350,000 in tax credits were approved by the DED to offset cleanup costs. Cleanup was completed under the direction of the VCP. EOI negotiated cleanup criteria with the MDNR, considering the future site use and the background concentration of metals/contaminants. An interim “No Further Action” letter
Stout has recently completed a $5 million expansion and renovation of their facility in Jennings that would not have been possible without the acquisition of the Normandy Tank Car site. Stout has plans for completing additional site improvements to respond to growth opportunities now available. In addition to the retention and expansion of economic benefits for the local community and the State of Missouri, a site that was formerly contaminated no longer represents an environmental risk. None of this could have been completed without the cooperation and funding provided by the City of Jennings, the MDED and the MDNR. Nor would this have been possible without the guidance of Environmental Operations, Inc. or the willingness of Stout Marketing to tackle the many challenges represented by the redevelopment of a Brownfield site.