What happens to chemical plants when they finally shut down for good? In Sarnia, Ontario, the plan is to tear down everything and, in a few years, turn a former Dow Chemical Co. site into wetlands. That's according to this story from The Observer newspaper, which notes that demolition of the 65-year-old polyethylene and polystyrene plant will begin in a few months, even though some production will continue until April 2009. The report quotes Catherine Creber, Dow's site closure leader, who spoke yesterday to the local Golden 'K' Kiwanis Club.
After the property has been cleared, it will be maintained in a natural state, at least until it's sold, she said. "If it's not sold, we'll put in long grasses, wildflowers and trees," she said. "It's our intention that it will be esthetically pleasing. When you drive over the overpass, you won't see a mess."I live near a chemical plant that has been cleaned up and reclaimed, the PPG Lime Lakes plant in Barberton, Ohio. It's amazing how a manufacturing site can disappear and return to a natural state in such a short period of time.