The Newport Chemical Depot (NECD or Depot) is an Army Material Command facility located in Vermillion County, Indiana. The Depot is responsible for neutralization of the VX chemical agent stored on site. This neutralization process began in May 2005, and was completed in August 2008. The Department of Defense recommended the closure of the Depot under 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions. The Depot was the largest employer in this rural county with a population of 16,000. The Depot is located approximately 35 miles north of Terra Haute. The Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority (NeCDRA) was established by Vermillion County to guide the county’s efforts to respond to the closure of the Newport Chemical Depot. NeCDRA is both the planning and implementation authority, with the ability to incur debt and to acquire and develop the surplus military property. NeCDRA is composed of five county residents appointed by the Vermillion County Commissioners.
The Reuse Master Plan capitalizes on the Depot’s large land mass and natural features, water resources, and proximity to highway and rail transportation networks to position the site as a location for large-scale business and technology development, while protecting thousands of acres of natural and agricultural areas. Changes in national energy usage and production, technology, industry, transportation, and logistics, as well as a focus on sustainability of the natural and built environments, will shape the Depot’s redevelopment over the course of the next few decades. The Reuse Master Plan provides the flexibility to allow the Depot to respond to these changes and maintain its competitive advantage and remain a good neighbor to the communities in the region.
During the public outreach period, NeCDRA received Notices of Interest from a variety of state and local entities seeking some portion of the property for park and recreational uses. The Redevelopment plan was submitted January 2010 and accepted by HUD April 2010. Half the site is planned for agricultural/natural/parkland and half is available for development. There are minimal environmental issues as the Army and NeCDRA are working together on required environmental cleanup efforts.
The Economic Development Conveyance was approved on September 15, 2010 with a ceremony on Capitol Hill including representatives from Congress, the Army, the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), NeCDRA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and a German development firm. Documents necessary to finalize the transfer, including the deed, bill of sale, and promissory note were completed on September 30, 2011. The Phase 1 parcel (6,652 acres) transferred to NeCDRA on September 30, 2011, and the Phase 2 parcel (483 acres) is scheduled for transfer in early 2012.
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