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Newsom Brothers/Old Reichhold Chemicals

Additional Resources

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: MSD980840045
Location: Columbia, Marion County, MS
Lat/Long: 31.244710, -089.826930
Congressional District: 04
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/15/84; Final 06/10/86; Deleted: 09/27/00
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Sediment
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: Yes
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse – commercial land uses are located on a portion of the site
Site Manager: Carolyn Callihan (callihan.carolyn@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Newsom Brothers/Old Reichhold Chemicals site includes an area where several companies produced wood derivatives from 1936 to 1977. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 because of contaminated ground water, soil and sediment resulting from facility operations. EPA, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and 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. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2000. EPA does not anticipate additional work at  the site.

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Site Location and Background

The 81-acre site is located in Columbia in Marion County, Mississippi. The site includes the North Pond area, which is located in the northeast corner of the site. Fencing surrounds the North Pond area and vegetation covers the area. Residential areas border the site to the north, east and south. Residential areas include low-income and minority residents. Commercial businesses border the site to the west.

From the early 1930s to 1943, J.J. White Lumber Company operated a sawmill at the site. From 1936 to 1951, several companies operated at the site, producing wood derivatives such as resin, turpentine, pine oil and tall oil. Operations grinded pine stumps and digested them with a boiling liquor. In 1975, Reichhold Chemicals purchased the site property and used the area to mix pentachlorophenol with diesel oil. In 1977, an explosion and fire in one of the boiler units destroyed most of the facility and operations ended. In 1986, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following the completion of cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2000. A furniture store operates on a portion of the site.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, soil and sediment that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste facility operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include benzene, ethylbenzene, xylene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and pentachlorophenol (PCP).

The site’s PRPs conducted a ground water monitoring program. Upon completion of the monitoring program, EPA and MDEQ determined that ground water contamination did not pose a threat to people and the environment.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The site’s PRPs led site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and MDEQ.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: contaminated soil and sediment; and OU-2: North Pond area.

In 1989, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities: 

In 1997, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. The plan included EPA’s decision that no cleanup activities were necessary to address ground water contamination. The plan required a three-year plan to confirm ground water contamination did not exist. Following completion of the monitoring plan, EPA and MDEQ would evaluate ground water contamination.

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

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Cleanup Progress

In 1984 and 1987, EPA performed two emergency cleanup actions at the site. In 1984, EPA removed 600 drums and drained two on-site ponds. In 1987, EPA removed 1,920 tons of contaminated soil and 3,900 empty and partially filled drums.

The site’s PRPs completed the three-year ground water monitoring program in 1999. EPA and MDEQ confirmed that ground water contamination did not pose a threat to people and the environment.

Following the completion of cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2000. The site's deletion notice states that, "with concurrence of the Mississippi DEQ, EPA has determined that all appropriate responses under CERCLA have been completed, and that no further action is necessary."

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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 site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

The ROD online provides 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. EPA also provided a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) to a community group, Jesus People Against Pollution (JPAP).

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Future Work

EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2000.

EPA does not anticipate additional work at the site.

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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

South Mississippi Regional Library
900 Broad St.
Columbia, MS 39429

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