3M is taking the first steps to revitalize the nearly 15-acre former Brookhaven Middle School campus in Decatur, Alabama, starting in early 2023. 3M is also launching its proposal to take actions consistent with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) Voluntary Cleanup Program, which provides guidelines for managing historic landfill sites and investigating volatile organic compounds. These initiatives will help strengthen the community by safely addressing the closed facility and offer new opportunities for the site’s future.
“3M wants to help make this a safe, exciting, and valuable asset to the City of Decatur,” said Michelle Howell, 3M’s director of strategic project management for chemical operations. “In addition to working with ADEM to manage environmental activities and using the Voluntary Cleanup Program as a guide, we are conducting a comprehensive study to determine a long-term remediation plan for the site that will help shape the neighborhood development moving forward.”
Community input will help shape the future
As the project progresses, 3M will seek input from neighbors, community leaders, and other stakeholders -- including ADEM -- to help develop the site’s future potential uses. 3M will also refer to the City of Decatur’s comprehensive “One Decatur” plan to reflect how 3M can contribute to the city’s quality of life.
3M anticipates that phase one of the project will focus on the 15-acre portion featuring the school building – decommissioning and demolition of which is anticipated to begin in early 2023 – and activity field. 3M also plans to include the approximately 23-acre Aquadome site and softball fields adjacent to Brookhaven in future redevelopment plans once the city opens the new recreation facility and 3M takes ownership of those portions of the property from the city.
3M purchased the Brookhaven campus from Decatur City Schools in May 2020 and has since worked with ADEM to investigate and address environmental activities. Current results submitted to ADEM indicate the site is suitable for interim redevelopment. 3M is conducting a comprehensive study to establish the final remediation plan for the site. 3M will make recommendations and seek approval of a final remediation plan before submitting long-term use options developed by the community to ADEM for approval.
Here's a fact sheet about the former Brookhaven Middle School Campus.
Stepping up for the good of the neighborhood
3M has also proposed to take actions consistent with ADEM’s Voluntary Cleanup Program, which provides guidelines for investigating brownfields and historic landfill sites.
3M will investigate and, where appropriate, remediate historic material in the Brookhaven landfill – including materials 3M contributed as well as other industrial and municipal contributors. 3M will also monitor the site for volatile organic compounds commonly found in closed landfills. 3M is proposing participation consistent with the Program to ensure all potential environmental issues are addressed, and to help inform future plans for Brookhaven for long-term use and contributing to the community’s quality of life.
Although the site is not currently enrolled in the Voluntary Cleanup Program, 3M has elected to move forward with the investigation of volatile organic compounds at the site while the regulatory framework is being determined. The Program is separate from the 2020 Interim Consent Order between 3M and ADEM and is not associated with PFAS monitoring or remediation.
To learn more about 3M’s work in Decatur and the community, please visit the facility website at https://www.3M.com/Decatur.