The strikingly modern building recently completed on River Street at the roundabout junction of Routes 2 and 302 is the Vermont base for Wind River Environmental, a Marlborough, Mass., company that specializes in the management of non-hazardous liquid waste.
Patrick Malone, who owns and developed the property, said that the facility provides offices and equipment storage for the lessee, Wind River Environmental. “It is not a facility for the storage or transfer of liquid waste,” he said.
The large berm just to the east of the new building is part of the remediation plan for the toxic soils that were removed from an area of contamination along the riverbank. Before construction began last year, the developer removed “700 tons of soil and river sediment contaminated by coal tar,” according to an email from Lee Rosberg, project geologist with Stone Environmental Corp. on Stonecutters Way in Montpelier. The site had been the location of a coal gasification plant early in the 20th century and the location of Grossman’s Lumber from 1966 until it closed in the early 1990s.
Malone said that the contaminated “urban soils” from the long-ago coal tar waste have been contained in the berm and covered with 18 inches of topsoil and grasses. Additional plantings and fencing will be installed between the berm and the river to isolate the brownfield material, he said.
The coal gasification plant that produced the contamination supplied gas to Montpelier’s 19th century street lighting system, Malone noted.
Wind River, whose occupancy began quietly at the beginning of the year, chose the site because of its centrality to operations in Vermont and its proximity to the Montpelier sewage treatment plant, which is the location for non-hazardous liquid waste transfer, Malone said. Trucks will be stored overnight in the building, which also has two bays for mechanical repair and maintenance of the vehicles.
Several Vermont companies that specialize in handling liquid waste have been purchased by Wind River, including Hartigan’s in Middlesex and Dimmick Septic Services in Randolph. According to their website, Wind River Environmental is “the nation’s largest full-service, non-hazardous liquid waste management service provider.” That means they “inspect, service, repair, and install a broad array of non-hazardous liquid waste systems, including septic tanks, grease traps, pumping, and industrial waste systems.”
Wind River’s customers include residences, businesses, and municipalities in 16 states along the East Coast, and the company has acquired more than 90 smaller companies since it formed. They aspire to be “the premier grease, septic, and drain service provider in America.”