"Basically we are armoring the site," Potesta said.
The plan approved by both the EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection calls for encapsulating the land.
"The idea is to basically keep the dirty there" so nothing can be leaked into the river, Walton said. In 2002, it was discovered that an undetermined amount of dioxin had seeped into the Kanawha River from a waste pile on the site.
Thirteen years ago, taxes on the building and plant equipment totaled about $444,000, the Putnam assessor said at the time. Now, Solutia pays less than $50,000 in taxes on the property, according to the sheriff's tax office website.
Walton believes the land can be profitable again.
"Nitro has both river and rail access so it could be a feeder for the Heartland Intermodel Gateway," he said. "I think it would be a good idea for them to look at."
The Norfolk Southern Railway intermodal terminal in Wayne County is expected to open next year, Walton said. The $249 million project in Prichard is being developed to move freight containers between Columbus, Ohio, and Norfolk, Va.
"I think [Solutia] would be very interested in selling," said Potesta, who also noted the site's close proximity to Interstate 64.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.