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FCX, Inc. (Washington Plant)

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Bypass construction - FCX Washington site

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD981475932
Location: Washington, Beaufort County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.559580, -077.074450
Congressional District: 03
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 03/31/89
Affected Media: Ground water, Surface Water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: There is insufficient data to determine
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse – a highway bypass is located on a portion of the site; potential for reuse on the remainder of the site
Site Manager: William Joyner (joyner.william@epa.gov )


Current Site Status

The FCX, Inc. (Washington Plant) site includes the area where the Farmer’s Cooperative Exchange operated a farm supply distribution center from 1945 to 1985. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated ground water, surface water and soil resulting from waste handling practices. 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.

Site Location and Background

The 12-acre site is located in northwest Washington in Beaufort County, North Carolina. The intersection of Grimes Road and Whispering Pines Road borders the site to the northeast. Wetlands, Kennedy Creek and the Tar River border the site to the south and southwest. Agricultural land borders the site to the west and northwest. The site’s broader surroundings include commercial, industrial and residential land uses.

From 1945 to 1985, the Farmer’s Cooperative Exchange (FCX) operated a farm supply distribution center at the site. Operations at the distributions center packaged and sold pesticides, herbicides and tobacco-treating chemicals. Beginning in the early 1970s, operations disposed of pesticide wastes and other agricultural chemicals in a large trench on site. Farmer’s Cooperative Exchange filed for bankruptcy in 1985. In 1989, EPA listed the site on the NPL. In 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation constructed the U.S. Route 17 Washington Bypass on a portion of the site. Additionally, the department is making improvements to U.S. Route 17, which includes four areas on site. Currently, the highway bypass runs from the site’s southwest boundary to its northeast boundary. Some remaining portions of the site can support reuse.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, surface water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

EPA continues to address ground water contamination at the site. EPA does not consider ground water a threat because people do not use it as a drinking water source.

EPA no longer considers surface water a threat to people or the environment.

EPA has addressed soil contamination at the site.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

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

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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 ground water; and OU-2: contaminated soil.

In 1993, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 1996, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. The plan included EPA’s decision that no further action was needed to address soil contamination.

In 2005, EPA issued an amendment to the cleanup plan (a ROD Amendment) for OU-1. The amended plan changed cleanup activities for contaminated ground water to monitored natural attenuation.

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the RODs and Five-Year Review.

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Cleanup Progress

From 1989 until 1992, EPA dug up 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. In 1996, EPA completed treating contaminated soil.

The site’s first Five-Year Review, completed in 2010, found that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment for the short term. The Five-Year Review also recommended additional work. EPA is currently following up on the recommendations from the Five-Year Review by evaluating the effectiveness of monitored natural attenuation and working to place institutional controls on the site property.

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

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Enforcement Activities

In 1992, a Trust Agreement provided FCX bankruptcy proceeding assets to fund cleanup activities at the site and the FCX-Statesville Superfund site.

EPA is also using federal funds for site cleanup activities.

RODs and the Five-Year Review online provide 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, interviews and public meetings.

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Future Work

EPA continues to monitor ground water and evaluate the effectiveness of monitored natural attenuation at the site.

EPA is working to place institutional controls on the site property.

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

George and Laura Brown Library
122 Van Norden Street
Washington, NC 27889

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