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North Hollywood Dump

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Abandoned dredge pond and the North Hollywood Dump site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: TND980558894
Location: Memphis, Shelby County, TN
Lat/Long: 35.185550, -089.979160
Congressional District:09
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 12/31/97
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Solid Waste
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Not in use Potential for commercial or light industrial reuse
Site Manager: Randy Bryant (bryant.randy@epa.gov)


Current Status

The North Hollywood Dump site includes the area where waste disposal activities took place from the 1930s until 1967. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated ground water, sediment, soil, solid waste and fish tissue resulting from waste disposal operations. EPA, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the North Hollywood Dump Steering Committee, the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By monitoring ground water, surface water and fish tissue, implementing fishing restrictions on the former dredge pond area and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, TDEC and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 171-acre site is located in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. The site includes a 70-acre landfill west and east of North Hollywood Street, a 35-acre abandoned dredge pond, a 13.5-acre area previously occupied by two former surface water impoundments, Oxbow Lake and Beaver Pond, and a forested buffer area. The Wolf River borders the site to the north and east, a quarry borders the site to the west and single-family homes and apartment buildings, which include low-income and minority residents, border the site to the south.

From the 1930s until 1967, a municipal dump operated at the site. In the late 1940s, Hayden Chemical Company used the dump to dispose of wastes generated in the production of sodium hydrochloride. Velsicol Chemical Corporation acquired Hayden Chemical Company and continued disposal operations at the site. Other industrial plants in the Memphis area also used the site as a disposal area. In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following completion of the cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1997.

Fencing surrounds most of the grass-covered site, except for the area next to the Wolf River. Signs posted at the former dredge pond area notify the public about the fishing restrictions. Following cleanup activities, the site supports commercial and recreational use. Currently, the site is vacant and not in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, sediment, soil, solid waste and fish tissue that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste disposal practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include pesticides, leadcopper and arsenic.

Ground water contamination is contained within the site boundary. Contamination remains in fish tissue above cleanup level goals and people should not eat fish from the site. Fishing restrictions remain in effect for the former dredge pond area.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The North Hollywood Dump Steering Committee, the site’s PRPs, led site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and TDEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1980, EPA conducted short-term cleanup activities to remove some of the chemical wastes from the site, install chain-link fence around the site and begin a monitoring program.

From 1993 until 1995, the site’s PRPs removed drums and capped and graded the landfill area. From 1995 until 1996, the PRPs dredged and capped contaminated sediment in place in the former dredge pond area. Following the completion of the cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1997.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2010, found that the landfill cap continues to perform as intended. The Five-Year Review noted that while contamination levels in fish from the former dredge pond area are declining, people should not eat fish from the former dredge pond area. 

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs continue to fund monitoring and oversight activities.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and public meetings.

Several community groups and organizations were involved at the site. These groups included the League of Women Voters, the Tennessee Association of Community Organization Reform Now, the Urban League, Tennesseans Against Chemical Hazards and the Tennessee Self Help Missions. EPA formed the Metro Area Environmental Task Force, consisting of representatives from local citizens groups and federal, city and county government personnel, to address local concerns regarding the site and obtain public comments regarding site cleanup plans. The Task Force is no longer active.

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Future Work

Long-term monitoring of ground water, surface water and fish at the site is ongoing. The site’s PRPs continue to sample fish tissue every two to three years. Parties regularly inspect and maintain fencing and posted signs around the former dredge pond area.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2010 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2015.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Memphis Shelby County Public Library
1850 Peabody Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

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