Metro has no plans for environmental study near ballpark site - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Metro has no plans for environmental study near ballpark site


Two properties next to the proposed Sulphur Dell baseball stadium in north Nashville have had environmental concerns; however, Metro does not plan to do an environmental study on the ballpark land.

An engineering report written in 2008 found the property adjacent to the proposed ballpark's footprint had contaminated soil that would need to be sent to a special landfill once it was removed.

The property, at Fifth Avenue North and Jefferson Street, was tested twice in 2008 before the state proposed putting a building there.

The engineering study in April 2008 by Warren and Associates of Lebanon noted that the land had historically been used for auto repair, gas stations and paint body services. The report noted that there were underground storage tanks that were not properly closed. Borings also found evidence of fill and debris, like coal cinders and metal debris.

A follow-up study in June 2008 found barium and lead, but not in high concentrations. The engineering firm recommended the soil be removed and disposed of as special waste.

A second site adjacent to the ballpark footprint has also had problems. In 2007, the state decided to replace its data center at 901 Fifth Ave. North because it was sinking into an unstable landfill.

The state has since stabilized and repaired the foundation.

In spite of the problems, Mayor Karl Dean does not plan for environmental studies on the land under the ballpark.

"Well, we've already been in communication with the state about the environmental issues. But the environmental issues are what you would find almost anywhere downtown," Dean said.

Dean was asked if the city budget for the project includes money for soil remediation, should the city find it has to remove contaminated soil from underneath the Sulphur Dell stadium.

"Right now, we think we're in fine shape," Dean said.

Hidden costs are already a concern to some members of Metro Council.

At a presentation to Metro Council members on Nov. 11, Councilman Robert Duvall asked Metro's finance director, Rich Riebeling, if there were any Indian gravesites in the area or any other issues that might involve the EPA.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said they have not yet seen potential problems that would require environmental testing.

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