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NAVASSA, N.C. (June 13, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed cleanup plan for a second portion of the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa Superfund site. The area, known as Operable Unit 2 (OU2), is where treated and untreated wood was stored during historic wood treatment operations. EPA is seeking public comment on the proposed plan for OU2 through June 30, 2022, and will hold an in-person and virtual public meeting tomorrow to explain the proposed plan and answer questions.

The proposed plan public meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Participants may join in-person at the Navassa Community Center located at 338 Main Street. To join virtually, participants may register at www.epa.gov/superfund/kerr-mcgee-chemical-corp or by emailing EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator LaTonya Spencer at spencer.latonya@epa.gov.

EPA is proposing to excavate and remove the most contaminated surface soils in OU2 and dispose the soil off-site at an EPA-approved RCRA Subtitle C or D permitted landfill (depending on waste characterization). Clean backfill soil suitable for residential use would then be placed in the excavated areas, and the areas would be graded and revegetated to prevent erosion. The EPA is proposing this approach because it will allow the OU2 to be cleaned up in the shortest timeframe and will allow for unlimited uses after cleanup (with no land use restrictions). It also does not require long-term monitoring, maintenance, or five-year reviews under the Superfund law.

EPA welcomes public comments on the plan beginning Wednesday, June 1, 2022, to Thursday, June 30, 2022. The EPA’s proposed plan for OU2 and an accompanying fact sheet are posted online at www.epa.gov/superfund/kerr-mcgee-chemical-corp.

The EPA established a local Information Repository at two locations where the public may access and review the Site’s Administrative Record online at the Navassa Community Center, 338 Main Street, Navassa, NC 28451 and the Leland Library, 487 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451. The Administrative Record is available at https://semspub.epa.gov/src/collection/04/AR66131.

Written comments should be submitted by June 30, 2022, to Spalvins.Erik@epa.gov or via the U.S. Postal Service at:

Erik Spalvins, EPA Remedial Project Manager

U.S. EPA, Superfund Division

11th Floor

61 Forsyth Street SW

Atlanta, GA 30303

After EPA receives comments and questions submitted during the public comment period, EPA will summarize the comments and provide responses to all questions and comments in the site’s Responsiveness Summary, which will become part of the OU2 Record of Decision (ROD). The OU2 ROD will describe the final cleanup approach and provide the basis for the decision.

SITE BACKGROUND:

From 1936 to 1974, Kerr-McGee and other companies used the 246-acre site for creosote-based wood treating. By 1980, Kerr-McGee dismantled the wood-treatment buildings and facilities.

The soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated by creosote-related chemicals. Site contamination does not currently pose a threat to people living or working near the site. The site is bounded by the Brunswick River, Sturgeon Creek, a residential area and a light industrial area. 

In 2005, the site was conveyed to Tronox, a Kerr-McGee spinoff that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. In 2011, the Multistate Trust acquired the site as a court-appointed trustee as part of the Tronox bankruptcy settlement. The Multistate Trust is working with its beneficiaries — EPA and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality — on the site investigation, remediation and redevelopment planning.

In 2021, following the EPA’s issuance of a Record of Decision for Operable Unit 1, that 20-acre area was deleted from the NPL which allowed for it to be returned to productive reuse.

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