BASF/Vigo County Redevelopment Commission Videotapes
Dates: 1988-1989
Accession Number: 20050101
Donor:  WTHI-TV/Citizens for a Clean County
Description:  7 videotapes in a flat storage box 


In 1986 Vigo County purchased over 1500 acres of land in the southern section of Vigo County from the U.S. General Services Administration with the intent of developing an industrial park.  The land had previously been used by the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute as a prison farm.   

In 1987 the Vigo County Commissioners commissioned an Indianapolis engineering firm to conduct a feasibility study on several issues concerning the industrial park, including proximity to transportation venues and the availability of natural gas, water and electric utilities to provide power sources for potential industrial investors. 

In March 1988, the BASF Corporation announced that Terre Haute's Industrial Park was one of three Midwest sites under consideration for the construction of an automotive paint manufacturing plant. In September BASF announced that they planned to add the construction of an incinerator to dispose of the hazardous waste accumulated from the plant.   As a result of the second announcement, several environmental groups opposed selling the land to BASF because of environmental safety concerns. 

In November 1988, the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission was established to prepare an economic development plan based on the Vigo County Commissioners' 1987 feasibility study.  In December 1988 and January 1989 the Redevelopment Commission heard testimony in public hearings on the economic development plan and BASF's paint plant from concerned citizens, local environmental groups, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The Redevelopment Commission approved the economic development plan at their meeting of January 19, 1989 by a 4 to 1 vote. 

In April 1990, the Environmental Rights Coalition (TERC) brought suit in federal court arguing that the original sale of the Industrial Park land from the General Services Administration to Vigo County was illegal.  TERC argued that when the GSA originally sold the land to Vigo County, the GSA was in violation of federal environmental regulations because it had not completed an environmental impact statement. 

In September 1990 BASF exercised its contractual rights with Vigo County and abandoned its plans to build the paint plant and incinerator after the court agreed to hear TERC's request for a preliminary injunction against Vigo County selling the land to BASF.  

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection consists of the seven videotapes made by WTHI-TV of the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission's hearings on the Industrial Park Economic Development Plan in December 1988 and the subsequent vote in January 1989.   

A 6 page summary of witnesses representing both sides of the BASF issue (experts, the public, and remonstrators) is included in the inventory folder.  The summary was prepared by Citizens for a Clean County. 

Related material can be found in Community Archives Collections #20040908 (BASF Collection) and #20050624 (BASF/Hercules/Environmental Materials).  

Flat Storage Box






Dec. 28-29, 1988
 (2 tapes)






January 3, 1989 (1 tape)






January 4-5, 1989 (3 tapes)






January 19, 1989 (1 tape)