LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Hub City Humane Society and Chuck and Gayle Davis have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to re-develop the old Davis Timber Co. Superfund site in Lamar County.
Tuesday, they each received an Excellence in Site Reuse award from the EPA's Region IV office in Atlanta.
Only one other site reuse award has been presented by that agency's regional office this year.
"EPA created this award in 2008 to recognize Superfund sites that have been put back into productive use, as well as to recognize those individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to re-develop those pieces of property," said Franklin E. Hill, director of the Superfund Division for Region IV of the EPA.
The Davis Timber Company was in operation from 1972 until the late 1980s, when evidence of on-site contamination prompted the Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality to issue an order stopping all wood-processing activities on the property.
The site was placed on the EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) in 2000. Clean-up of the site began in 2011 and work was finished in August of 2012, ahead of schedule and under budget.
Two years ago, the Hub City Humane Society opened an animal shelter on the site. The organization is in the process of purchasing the land from Chuck and Gayle Davis, who inherited the property.
"It was our goal, Gayle and my goal, to put this back into a (positive) light, if you will, where the site was a positive in the community and viewed positively by the community," said Chuck Davis.
"We're real excited about getting the award and we're also excited about what we've been able to do in such a short period of time with this property," said Virginia Cheatham, shelter manager for the Hub City Humane Society. "It's a beautiful piece of property and we're really looking forward to what the future holds, as far as what we can accomplish out here," she said.
Certificates were also presented to county officials and the Mississippi Dept. of Environmental Quality for their efforts in reclaiming the land.