September 22, 2014

View from the Avtex Site

Looking Toward Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Mountains
Once an industrial site, the Avtex Superfund Site in Front Royal has finally been pronounced "clean" after 25 years and hundreds of millions of dollars. A huge factory here once produced rayon, including parachute material that was important in World War II.

We dropped by the site on Saturday as a community event took place to celebrate the beginning of a new era for the 440 acres once occupied by the factory and related functions. Their are permanent use restrictions in place because the groundwater may never be pure again, but at least the site is considered safe for business use and it is no longer contaminating the Shenandoah River. (The singing group in the photo is the Sweet Adelines.)

I can remember the smell of the rayon plant! When I was young and we drove to the mountains, there was an awful stench as we approached Front Royal. It smelled like an outhouse and you could smell it for miles! After the factory closed in 1989, the air cleared and the town started to seem like a nice place. Now it's a pleasant town filled with history, tourists, and outdoor activities due to it's location between the mountains and the river.


  1. Good to see these sites get sucessfully cleaned up.

  2. Glad to hear it's been cleaned up. It looks so pretty in that first photo.

  3. I am so happy they cleaned up the site..I have been passing thru Front Royal on the way to Shenandoah and never notice a smell. I am glad it is gone.. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

  4. It takes a lot of effort, but it's worthwhile.


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