Brownfields are parcels of land with any history of previous use that hinders their current or future development. Any real – or, importantly, any perceived – contamination from previous uses might affect how we can responsibly use lands. The operation of an oil tank farm, despite the visible steps taken to limit the effects of any spill, has undoubtedly long affected the perception of White Park.
In the late 1980’s, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) formally recognized White Park as a brownfield after receiving citizen complaints at a few previous tank sites within White Park. Since then, in their assessment and associated cleanups of periodic complaints at specific tank sites, the WVDEP and the USEPA have worked directly with oil companies responsible for the previous use. This process has been piecemeal and reactionary in nature, limited to areas that were identified by complaints and with nearly no involvement of the City or BOPARC.