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Barber Orchard


Barber Orchard site cleanup

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
Location: Waynesville, Haywood County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.445830, -083.063880
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Proposed: 01/11/01; Final: 09/13/01
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Soil cleanup activities have been completed
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse – agricultural production and commercial, cultural and light industrial land uses are located on site
Site Manager: Jon Bornholm (bornholm.jon@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Barber Orchard site includes the area where Barber Apple Orchard operated from 1908 to 1988. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from facility operations. EPA and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) 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 and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA and NCDENR continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 438-acre site is located on the slope of a mountain in Haywood County, North Carolina, three miles west of Waynesville. Residential areas surround the site and U.S. Forest Service land is located to the south.

From 1908 until 1988, an apple orchard operated at the site. In 1988, the bank owning the site property began selling off tracts of land. EPA listed the site on the NPL in 2001.

Agricultural production, commercial and industrial uses, and churches operate on parts of the site property. EPA anticipates most of the currently undeveloped land at the site will be developed as a residential area.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations initially found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from pesticide use at the site. Contaminant of concern include lead, arsenate, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD)hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) (formally known as BHC, or benzene hexachloride), endrin and dieldrin.

EPA has cleaned up areas affected by contaminated soil to levels that support residential uses. EPA conducted additional ground water investigations and did not identify any levels of contaminants in ground water above federal drinking water standards. Therefore, EPA did not require any ground water cleanup activities. The State of North Carolina prohibits the installation of ground water wells without first obtaining a permit. In addition, a public water line, installed in 2004 and 2005, by the Town of Waynesville/Haywood County, connects 32 parcels at the site to the public water supply.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with NCDENR. . Between 2001-2003, EPA conducted the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study at the site using federal funds.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 2004, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision for Operable Unit 1 (OU 1), or OU 1 ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 2011, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to change the site cleanup goal for arsenic in soil. This change was supported by the results from the site-specific bioavailability study the EPA conducted. EPA contracted with the Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology at University of Florida to measure how much of the arsenic in the soil at Barber Orchard is actually bioavailable. The study was entitled, Relative Bioavailability of Arsenic from Soil for the Barber Orchard Superfund Site (August 2009) showed that only 25 to 38 percent of the arsenic in the Barber Orchard soil is bioavailable and not the 100% assumed and used in the risk assessment.

In 2011, EPA issued a cleanup plan (the OU 2 ROD) for site-related ground water. Because EPA did not identify any risks in ground water after additional investigation, the Agency does not require ground water cleanup activities. However, the OU 2 ROD does require continue monitoring of the ground water within the site by periodically collecting samples from monitoring and drinking water wells.

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

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Cleanup Progress

In 1999, Haywood County Health Department sampled a resident's drinking water well and detected pesticides in water. NCDENR conducted additional sampling and verified pesticides in the well. EPA conducted short-term cleanup activities in 1999 and 2000. EPA removed the top foot of soil from portions of 28 residential properties, backfilled the dug-up areas, and graded and revegetated the areas. EPA also encouraged residents to install filtration systems on their wells.

During 2003 and 2004, EPA collected five-point composite samples from each acre of the site, taking soil from five spots at the sampling location and then mixing them together. EPA used the data to better estimate the quantity of contaminated soil at the site and nearby residential properties.

In 2004 and 2005, Haywood County and the Town of Waynesville extended the public water supply line across the site. As of 2011, the water line connects 32 site property parcels to the public water supply.

During April and May of 2010, EPA collected surface and subsurface soil samples on a quarter acre basis to better define the extent of soil contamination in preparation of conducting the soil cleanup. The results of this effort indicated that approximately 80 acres required remediation. Soil cleanup activities were performed between November 2010 and September 2011 and included the following major components:

Approximately 200,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris were excavated and disposed offsite at permitted landfills and approximately 78,400 cubic yards of clean soil was imported from an approved off-site source to back fill the excavated properties

EPA continues to monitor the groundwater in the Orchard.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA was unable to identify any viable potentially responsible parties for the site. EPA is using federal funds for site cleanup activities.

The RODs and ESD online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA has 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 has 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 and information meetings. EPA also held a public meeting to discuss the Proposed Plan for addressing site-related ground water in 2011.

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Future Work

Long-term ground water monitoring is ongoing.

EPA with the assistance of NCDENR plans to complete the first Five-Year Review for the site in 2016.

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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

Haywood County Public Library
402 Haywood Street
Waynesville, NC 28786

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