Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: NCD003166675
Location: Pisgah Forest, Transylvania County, North Carolina
Lat/Long: 35.26373, -82.674922
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Superfund Alternative Approach
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Sediment
Cleanup Status: Physical cleanup activities, through removal actions, have started
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Planned mixed-use development
Site Manager: Jennifer Wendel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Ecusta Mill is a former pulping and paper manufacturing facility located in Pisgah Forest (near Brevard), North Carolina. The facility is approximately 527 acres situated in a mixed-use commercial/residential setting near the confluence of the Davidson and French Broad Rivers. The site consists of the former manufacturing facility, as well as industrial solid waste landfills and an Aerated Stabilization Basin.
In addition to the pulping and paper-making operations, the following activities have occurred at the site: chlorine production operations using Sorenson mercury cells; caustic storage; water and wastewater treatment; and printing.
EPA became involved in the site when the plant closed in 2003 because there was a threat of uncontrolled releases at the site if environmental systems were shut down. In 2004, EPA and the State of North Carolina (the State) conducted an Expanded Site Inspection.
The properties were purchased by a site developer in January 2008 with the intention to demolish all on-site buildings and to ready the property for a mixed-use development. EPA and the State negotiated agreements with the developer and one past owner/operator to cover needed environmental investigations and cleanup activities.
Mercury contamination associated with the chlorine production operations has been documented in the soils and ground water beneath and adjacent to the mercury cell building. Mercury contamination has also been documented in sediment in the Davidson River.
Site Cleanup Plan
A combination of Superfund Removal and Superfund Alternative Approach sites investigation and cleanup strategies, along with reliance on current State permit requirements, are being used to accomplish needed risk reduction and redevelopment. The Superfund Alternative Approach uses the same investigation and cleanup process and standards that are used for sites listed on the National Priorities List.
Due to the size and complexity of the site, EPA identified two operable units (OUs): OU-1 (Redevelopment Areas) and OU-2 (River Areas). The Superfund Alternative Approach sites agreement applies to the River Areas investigation only.
EPA presented a Proposed Plan to the public in July 2009 describing EPA’s preferred cleanup approach for remaining OU-2 contamination. EPA expects to issue a Record of Decision in September 2009.
Record of Decision, Operable Unit 2, River Investigation Area (107 pp, 13.98MB, About PDF)
On-site building demolition activities commenced in July 2008 and are 90 percent complete. The final site grading is expected to be completed by September 2009.
Time-Critical Removal Actions in the Redevelopment Areas (OU-1) commenced in September 2008 and are scheduled for completion by December 2009. Additional on-site investigatory work for Non Time-Critical Removal Actions is currently in the work planning stage.More information on the removal action is available on EPAOSC.net .
A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study work plan for OU-2 was prepared by the former owner/operator for conducting an investigation of the Davidson and French Broad Rivers adjacent to the site. The field work was completed in the summer of 2008, and the Remedial Investigation report has been finalized.
Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by a developer and potentially responsible parties with oversight by EPA.
A Consent Agreement and an Administrative Order on Consent were finalized in January 2008.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Ecusta Mill 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 and information meetings on cleanup progress and activities.
Time-Critical Removal Actions for OU-1 are expected to be completed by December 2009. Additional on-site investigatory work for the OU-1 Non Time-Critical Removal Actions is currently in the work planning stage.
EPA expects to issue a Record of Decision in September 2009.
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.