Former Virginia Scrap Property

Brownfield redevelopment work in the 110-acre South Jefferson Redevelopment Area (SJRA) has been underway for several years with efforts focused on the 25-acre Riverside Center for Research and Technology (RCRT).
Former Virginia Scrap Property
The City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) moved their attention further along the corridor to the adjacent Virginia Scrap Iron and Metal Company, Inc. (Virginia Scrap) property at 1620 South Jefferson Street. This property is strategically located along Jefferson Street and connects RCRT to a main thoroughfare, downtown, and to the remainder of the SJRA.

Site Information

The subject property is comprised of approximately seven acres, which housed Virginia Scrap and scrap metal recycling operation and business office. All the parcels of the subject property are zoned Industrial Planed Unit Development (INPUD).

The redeveloped site will likely contain a mix of uses including institutional, commercial and potentially residential development based on the redevelopment plan for the SJRA and the City’s Strategic Housing Plan.

The City and RRHA have used EPA Brownfield assessment grant funds to perform Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESAs) prior to acquisition of the property. These assessments identified significant environmental impacts associated with metals (e.g., lead) related to the former scrap yard operations as well as various petroleum products and oils historically handled on the property.

Full Cleanup

Executing a full cleanup to meet Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) program default standards for residential development could cost as much as $4,000,000. However, by tailoring remediation to the proposed development of the property, the level of cleanup can be significantly reduced. As new construction will likely include several feet of fill and unoccupied first floor space to address flood plain issues, the actual cost of cleanup can be reduced to approximately $1,300,000. The anticipated cost to raise the elevation of the property to address flooding issues is estimated at $900,000. The reduced cost of cleanup in conjunction with flood proofing is much less than the cost of full cleanup and is equally protective of human health and the environment.

Initial Review

The City and the RRHA have performed an initial review of cleanup options that are presented in a Preliminary Assessment of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives document. Next steps in the cleanup process are as follows:
  • Confirm regulatory jurisdiction with U.S. EPA and Virginia DEQ.
  • Complete a detailed site assessment report documenting the extent of environmental impacts.
  • Prepare a risk assessment that establishes cleanup goals for the site.
  • Prepare a remedial action work plan that details how the cleanup goals will be met.
  • Implement the remedial action work plan.


The City procured consulting services to assist with the development of the above reports/plans using DEQ and EPA assessment grant funds. The City also worked with a contractor to conduct cleanup activities through a separate EPA $200,000 cleanup grant. Cleanup worked at the site took place during the months of August and September 2010.