Redeveloping blighted, abandoned properties is a central focus of many communities’ economic development efforts, and Hamilton County is no different. In the 1880s, the Stearns & Foster mattress company moved to Lockland, Ohio producing mattresses and other textile products. At its peak, the factory was among the nation's leading manufacturers of mattresses, box springs, and insulation and employed as many as 1,200 people. Vacant since 2001, the site had become an eyesore and health hazard; many of its buildings were condemned and in need of demolishing after a massive, four-alarm fire in 2004.

The site was an embarrassment to the County as it was strategically located and clearly visible to thousands of drivers on I-75. Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners sought to clean-up the Stearns & Foster site through demolition and remediation. To accomplish this, they applied for and received a $1,999,948 grant from the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF) that would enable the underutilized, vacant property to become ready for redevelopment and economic growth opportunities.

Prior to demolition of the buildings on the property, SME conducted a supple¬mental hazardous materials assessment. Based on the assessment, we designed the abatement project, prepared project abatement and demolition specifications, and provided abatement/demolition contract bidding. We also conducted project administration and monitoring, including air sampling. During demolition and remediation, SME provided environmental consulting related to implementation of the Remedial Action Plan and issuance of a No Further Action Letter.

SME also identified specific data gaps in the Phase I and Phase II Property Assessments performed before our involvement in the project. These data gaps were addressed, allowing the property to meet all of the standards of the State, not just those related to remediation. We addressed the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and its requirements for cleanup of a PCB release. To complete the work under the Voluntary Action Program (VAP), we negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete the work done under the VAP and not subject the property to TSCA enforcement action which would prevent participation in the VAP.

Our additional Phase II activities demonstrated one area did not require remediation while another area, previously undiscovered, did. SME prepared remedial specifications and provided remedial contract bidding. We also conducted remedial project administration and monitoring. Following remediation, SME performed the risk assessment.

Under SME’s supervision, the known major environmental problems and two serious unknown problems with the Property were addressed on schedule and under budget.

“Thank you for helping us through a difficult time. I believe fate put you on this project for a reason.”
-- Bonnie Rack, Owner’s Representative