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Cape Fear Wood Preserving

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD003188828
Location: Fayetteville, Cumberland County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.049450, -079.020830
Congressional District: 08
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/10/86; Final: 07/22/87
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface Water
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: No
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Hilary Thornton (thornton.hilary@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Cape Fear Wood Preserving site includes the area where Cape Fear Wood Preserving Company operated a wood preserving facility from 1953 to 1978. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1987 because of contaminated ground water, soil, sediment and surface water 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 treating and monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA and NCDENR continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Site Location and Background

The 9-acre site is part of a larger 41-acre area near Highway 401 on the west side of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Residential land uses border the site to the east and south. Industrial, commercial and agricultural land uses and a rail line border the site to the north and west. Several homes and a subdivision are located within a quarter-mile of the site.

From 1953 to 1978, a wood preserving facility operated at the site. Operations included pumping wastes from the treatment process into a concrete tank north of the treatment facility. After the liquid waste separated from the sludge, operations pumped the liquid into a drainage ditch that discharged into a pond. Operations also pumped wastes from the treatment process into an unlined pond. In 1987, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

SECo Investments, Inc. purchased the site property in 1988. The site is vacant and there have been no plans for redevelopment. The site’s cleanup can support residential uses.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, soil, sediment and surface water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminant of concern identified include copperchromium, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Soil cleanup was completed in 1999 to levels that support residential uses. Ground water contamination remains on site, and the ground water pump-and-treat system in use is effectively controlling the contamination. Residences and businesses near the site are not impacted by the contamination; they use the public water supply system for drinking water. The one residence near the site that uses a well has not been adversely affected.

Children’s health issues were considered as part of the site’s risk assessment.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

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

In 1991, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to use soil washing to address soil contamination. The ESD also stipulated that contaminants generated by the process could break down under natural conditions, selected an alternative plan for treating ground water, recognized the potential need for pretreatment of contaminated water, and selected Bones Creek as the discharge point for treated water.

In 1995, EPA issued a second ESD to allow for discharge of treated water into the drainage ditch on the southeast side of the site.

In 1996, EPA issued a third ESD to eliminate part of the soil cleanup process and change the point of discharge for treated water to the local water treatment plant.

In 2001, EPA issued a ROD Amendment to modify the ground water cleanup plan to better address the dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) in soil at the site.

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

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Cleanup Progress

EPA divided the cleanup into four phases. Phase I focused on removing hazardous materials and physical hazards from the surface of the site as well as demolition of on-site structures. Phase II addressed contaminated soils under an active rail line along the western boundary of the site. Phase III addressed soil contamination. Phase IV focused on cleaning up contaminated ground water.

EPA completed Phases I and II in 1996 and Phase III in 1999. EPA treated approximately 110,000 cubic yards of soil. EPA cleaned up soil to levels that support residential land uses. EPA completed construction of the ground water extraction system necessary to implement Phase IV in 2001. The system includes eight ground water extraction wells; four of the wells include a second pump to remove the DNAPL. Ground water treatment occurs on site and discharges treated water through 11 on-site infiltration galleries. EPA completed soil cleanup in 1999 to levels that support residential uses.

In 2004, EPA conducted an in-depth review of site cleanup operations and made several recommendations. In response to the review, EPA discontinued the use of 12 wells used to inject air into subsurface soil or ground water. In 2004 and 2005, EPA also conducted a study to determine if the removal of the DNAPL could proceed more rapidly. EPA installed four additional DNAPL extraction points and determined the removal of the DNAPL could proceed more rapidly.

In 2009, EPA completed a study of the spread of ground water contamination, which was moving in a west-southwesterly direction.

As of June 2011, the ground water treatment system has treated over 35.3 million gallons of ground water. EPA removed and disposed of approximately 168,400 pounds of DNAPL at an off-site facility.

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. The Five-Year Review also recommended implementing institutional controls, taking steps to more aggressively treat or contain the DNAPL, properly closing all unnecessary monitoring wells, and evaluating the potential threat of vapor intrusion.

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

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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, interviews and public meetings.

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Future Work

EPA is evaluating cleanup options to address the remaining DNAPL on site.

In August 2012, NCDENR assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the site’s ground water treatment system.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review 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

Cumberland County Public Library
300 Maiden Lane
Fayetteville, NC 28301

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