Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: NCD095459392
Location: Swannanoa, Buncombe County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.625000, -082.434710
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Jon Bornholm (email@example.com)
The Chemtronics site is a 1,027-acre parcel located in Swannanoa, North Carolina. Contamination affected approximately 20 total acres at the site. The site can be divided into two geographical subsections known as the Front Valley and the Back Valley (also known as Gregg Valley).
The property was first developed as an industrial site in 1952 and has had several owners/operators. The primary products manufactured on site were explosives, incapacitating agents, and chemical intermediates. The waste streams associated with manufacturing activities included various chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvents and acidic solutions.
Known waste disposal occurred over a small portion of the site. Twenty-three individual on-site disposal areas were identified during the investigation activities at the site. Disposal practices prior to 1971 are not well defined. From 1952 to 1971, solid waste materials and possibly solvents were reportedly incinerated in pits dug in the burning ground, also known as the Acid Pit Area. Chemical wastes were also disposed of in trenches located in the Acid Pit Area.
The site is owned by Chemtronics, Inc., a subsidiary of the Halliburton Company. Manufacturing activities at the site ended in 1994, and no new activities are occurring on site. On-site ground water and surface water are not used in any capacity. The site is bordered to the north and west by sparsely populated woodlands, primarily national forests. Immediately to the south of the site, there are several industrial facilities.
Contaminants contained in the on-site disposal areas include volatile organic compounds (1,2-dichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethene, trichloroethene, and tetrachloroethene), semi-volatile organic compounds (benzophenone, benzylic acid, and explosives), and metals (chromium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc). Contaminants detected in the ground water include benzene, chloroform, 1,2-dichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethene, trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, benzophenone, benzylic acid, picric acid, explosives, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc.
Site Cleanup Plan
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued in 1988. Major cleanup elements for the site included:
- Installation of a ground water extraction and treatment system downgradient of the disposal areas in both the Front Valley and Gregg Valley.
- Capping and fixation/stabilization/solidification for contaminated soil in the disposal areas. The capped areas will be fenced with a chain-linked fence and marked.
- A monitoring program to be established for surface water.
An amended ROD was issued for the site in 1989. The ROD amendment specified the deletion of the requirement to solidify soils in Disposal Area (DA) - 23 as a result of a transcription error made in remedial investigation data which was carried over into the initial ROD.
Capping and stabilization/solidification for contaminated soil in the disposal areas began in 1991 and was completed in 1993. Multi-layer caps were installed in the following areas: DA-6, DA-7/8, DA-9, DA-10/11, DA-23, and the Acid Pit Area. A gas venting system was also installed at the Acid Pit Area. Cleanup activities also included installing ground water extraction and treatment systems down gradient of the disposal areas in both valleys.
The 1988 ROD addressed only those disposal areas that were deemed CERCLA related. Other potential source disposal areas on the Chemtronics property were considered Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) areas as prior to 1994, this was an active facility, so would be cleaned up under RCRA.
In June 1997, the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the site undertook corrective actions to improve the operation of both the extraction systems and treatment systems in both valleys. These corrections have significantly reduced the down time these systems have experienced in the past.
Two Five-Year Reviews (FYRs) have been developed for the site - 2002 and 2007. The 2007 FYR found that the site was protective of human health and the environment in the short-term; however, in order for the remedy to be protective in the long-term, the follow-up actions would be needed: institutional controls need to be put in place and improvements to the ground water monitoring system are needed to ensure complete capture of contaminant plumes.
In a March 2007 correspondence, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources requested that EPA consolidate oversight of all site environmental remediation activities under EPA’s Superfund authority, and relinquished the State's RCRA oversight responsibilities for the site to EPA’s Superfund program. Consequently, the PRPs will be revising the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) documents to incorporate the RCRA related areas on the Chemtronics facility under the October 2008 Administrative Order on Consent (AOC). The Agency approved PRPs’ RI/FS Work Plan in November 2009. Remedial Investigation field work has been completed. The PRPs/consultant are currently drafting the Remedial Investigation Report and starting on developing the draft Feasibility Study document.
Cleanup activities have been undertaken by PRPs with EPA oversight.
EPA has identified three viable PRPs for the site - Chemtronics, Inc., Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, and CNA Holdings, Inc. Under a March, 1989 Unilateral Administrative Order issued to all three PRPs, the remedial design (RD) and remedial action (RA) were performed.
A 2008 AOC signed by the PRPs and EPA will address cleanup for the former RCRA areas at the site that will now be addressed under CERCLA.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Chemtronics site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices, interviews, and public meetings on cleanup activities and updates.
Ground water monitoring at the site continues.
Field work for the revised RI/FS should begin in the summer of 2009.
The next FYR for the site is expected in 2012.
Site Administrative Documents
For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.