JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of a successful two-year environmental remediation project that restored the ecosystem of a 24-acre former wood treatment site in Gautier, Miss., CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) and its partners were awarded the annual Phoenix Award for sustainable brownfield redevelopment by the Phoenix Awards Institute.
"The Gautier remediation project embodies our company's deep commitment to environmental stewardship, wildlife management and economic development on our existing and inherited properties," said Skip Elliott, vice president – public safety, health and environment, CSX. "An area that was once abandoned is now a healthy ecosystem and a vibrant community asset that will be enjoyed for years to come."
The Phoenix Awards recognize outstanding revitalization projects in the U.S. that have restored abandoned properties into dynamic mixed-use communities. Presented at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Brownfields Conference in Atlanta, award winners shared best practices and techniques for remediation planning to encourage replication across the country.
"We applaud the CSX team for its remarkable dedication to environmental awareness, protection and conservation," said Denise K. Chamberlain, executive chair of the Phoenix Awards Institute. "By adopting a stakeholder-inclusive approach to remediation, CSX successfully engaged regulatory, municipal, and community leaders throughout the process, modeling the type of collaboration and thought that should characterize every remediation project."Located within a coastal community in the Pascagoula River Watershed, the Gautier site had been a brownfield for nearly two decades following the closure of a wood treatment facility that was operated by a predecessor railroad for more than 100 years. Wood treated at the site was used for a variety of purposes, including building of the Panama Canal. Through a combination of unique design and the use of specialized geosynthetic materials, the CSX-led team contained and stabilized the residual wood treating compounds in the ground and sediment, improving the overall health of the watershed and helping to protect the estuary and adjacent uplands from the erosive forces of tropical storms and hurricanes. The site now offers a natural aesthetic surrounding the established neighborhoods, encouraging recreational use of the Pascagoula River and promoting ecotourism in the region.