Skip to Main Content

Find COVID-19 Information and Resources
TDEC COVID-19 Response and Resources

TDEC, Lawmakers Recognize Cleanup Efforts of Paint Oak LLC

Monday, August 24, 2020 | 09:15am

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) leaders and a group of East Tennessee legislators toured a property owned by Paint Oak LLC in Hamblen County this week, recognizing the company for its remediation efforts at the site.

Paint Oak LLC was a winner this year in the materials management category of the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards for its work. A certificate for the award signed by Gov. Bill Lee was presented to Paint Oak officials today.

“Paint Oak went above and beyond its responsibility to remediate this brownfield site,” Greg Young, deputy commissioner of TDEC, said. “This boosts the viability of the industrial site and demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility for the community.”

“I would like to thank TDEC for working with Paint Oak to help improve the site,” Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, said. “A lot of people don’t know what Paint Oak is or where is it located. This is the old Enka site which at one time employed over 5,500 people. Before closing it was the largest employer in Hamblen County. The property then changed owners several times and sat vacant for several years, which brings us to the current owners. When I toured the Paint Oak site, I was surprised at the cleanliness of the buildings, which are up to food service standards. Paint Oak currently has over 900,000 square feet that they own and they are preparing several buildings to be used as warehouses. In the future you will see a lot of companies that are looking for warehousing fill up these spaces.”

“We are very proud this award has been presented to Paint Oak for their innovation in remediating this brownfield site and their dedication to the environment,” Sen. Frank Nicely, R-Strawberry Plains, said. “We appreciate their work in raising the bar in helping our community be a healthy place to live, work and enjoy the beautiful landscapes we are so blessed with in East Tennessee.”

“I am proud of Mr. Sam Furrow and his team’s work at the Lowland site.” Rep. Rick Eldridge, R-Morristown, said. “I appreciate TDEC working with them to make this a productive property again for this area.”

Paint Oak remediated a stockpile of cathode ray tubes (CRT) as part of a redevelopment effort on the former site of Liberty Fibers. The effort was made more complicated by the presence of lead contaminated dust, which had been spread throughout the building due to improper material handling.

Paint Oak disposed of over 8 million pounds of CRT waste, over 180 tons of special wastes, and recycled over 360,000 pounds of various electronic wastes abandoned by a previous tenant. Paint Oak has invested approximately $2.4 million in remedial efforts, facility upgrades, and storm water improvements.

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect the environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.