Jump to main content.

National Starch & Chemical Corp.


OU-4 oxidizer

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile

EPA ID: NCD991278953
Location: Salisbury, Rowan County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.632200, -080.541200
Congressional District:06
NPL Status: Proposed: 04/10/85; Final: 10/04/89
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Underway – Physical cleanup activities have started.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Continued Industrial Use – An active chemical manufacturing facility.
Site Manager: Jon Bornholm (bornholm.jon@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The National Starch & Chemical Corp. site includes the area where two chemical manufacturing plants have operated since 1970. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from waste disposal practices. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and the National Starch & Chemical Corporation, the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), 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. A water line connects residents and businesses to the public water supply. By treating ground water, monitoring and treating soil, placing institutional controls on the site property, and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Top of page

Site Location and Background

The site is part of a 500-acre property five miles south of Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, approximately 40 miles northeast of Charlotte. Contamination affected a 20-acre area. The site includes two active chemical manufacturing facilities that have operated since 1970. The facilities manufacture chemicals for the textile and furniture industries. Previously, their operations also included the discharge of 350,000 gallons of liquid waste into unlined trenches in a 2-acre area on site.

Residential and industrial land uses border the site. An industrial park borders the site to the south and east. A mobile home park borders the site to the southwest and a housing development borders the site to the north. The nearest residence is approximately 1,500 feet from the sources of contamination at the site. The nearest private, potable well is located on the northern portion of the site. Two separate tributaries of Grants Creek are located in the southwest and northeast areas of the site. In 1989, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Chemical manufacturing facilities continue to operate on site. Fencing surrounds the site to limit access.

View site location map.

Top of page

Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminant of concern include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), inorganics and metals.

Contamination also affected surface water and sediment in an on-site stream. However, once the surface water and sediment leave the site property, sampling no longer detects any contamination. Therefore, EPA does not consider it to be an issue.
EPA assessed whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings. EPA found that vapor intrusion did not pose a threat to residents and workers.

Top of page

Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

AkzoNobel and its predecessors is led site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR. Several Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies have been conducted as the site has been divided into four operable units (OUs). These four OUs are:

OU #1 --  Groundwater in western portion of the property

OU #2 --  Trench Area soils and surface water/sediments in the Unnamed Tributary

OU #3 --  Groundwater under production Area 2, the parking lot, and the wastewater treatment lagoons and the surface water/sediments in the Northeast Tributary

OU #4 --  Contaminated soils in and around production Area 2 and the wastewater treatment lagoons.

Top of page

Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on four areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: ground water; OU-2: soil; OU-3: ground water and surface water in the Northeast Tributary; and OU-4: soil and source control.

In 1988, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. EPA determined that the natural infiltration of rainfall works well with the selected OU-1 ground water remedy. It flushes remaining soil contamination into the ground water interception area. The ROD also called for quarterly monitoring of on-site soils.

In 1993, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-3. The plan included the following activities:

In 1994, EPA issued a contingency cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-4. The plan included the following activities:

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

Top of page

Cleanup Progress

The site’s PRP conducted cleanup activities for OU #1 from 1990 to 1996, including installation of a ground water extraction system. The system pretreats ground water before sending it to the facility’s existing wastewater treatment system. Pretreatment includes air stripping to remove contaminants and treatment of the air stream coming off the air stripper before its release into the atmosphere. Following additional testing, EPA and the PRP determined that removing metals was not necessary.

The PRP conducted cleanup activities for OU #3 from 1998 to 2000. The ground water cleanup system operated from 2000 to 2009. The system shut down in 2009 because of a fire in the treatment building. The PRP began a study to determine how to address ground water contamination.

In 2006, the PRP completed a monitored natural attenuation study for OU #4. The PRP identified limited natural breakdown of contamination in soil. Therefore, EPA decided to implement a soil vapor extraction system, the contingency cleanup option. The PRP completed the system in 2010. From 2010 to 2012, the system removed approximately 10.000 pounds of soil contamination.

In 2012, additional groundwater contamination was encountered in OU #3 area. Consequently, an additional groundwater extraction well was installed in this area. Additional work continues to better define the extent of groundwater contamination in the OU #1 area

Replacement extraction wells and additional monitoring wells have been installed in the OU #1 area. This effort is to ensure that the OU #1 ground water pump and treat system is capturing contaminated ground water emanating from the Trench Area.

The site’s first, second, and third Five-Year Reviews were completed in 1996, 2002 and 2007, respectively. The fourth Five-Year Review was completed in September 2012 and concluded the site remedies addressing potential soil exposures (OU #2 and OU #4) are protective of human health and the environment in the short term as there are no direct contact risks and deed restrictions are in place. The OU #1 and OU #3 remedies are also protective in the short term as there are no current on-site groundwater receptors and the nearest private, potable wells are located approximately 2,700 feet from any onsite source and there is currently no indication of contaminated groundwater or surface water exiting the site. However, in order for these remedies to be protective in the long-term, the following actions need to be taken: a capture zone analysis is needed to ascertain whether adequate capture of the plumes is being achieved and if these capture zones are being maintained at OU #1, complete the delineation of deep bedrock contamination in the Lagoon Area (OU #3), and determine if the deed recordation needs to be updated.

These Five-Year Review Reports can be viewed online at: http://cumulis.epa.gov/fiveyear/?fuseaction=home.showSearchForm

In 2010, EPA issued the Preliminary Close Out Report for the site. The report documents the completed construction of cleanup activities at the site.

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

Top of page

Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRP to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

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

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Future Work

Treatment of OU #1 ground water is ongoing

Long-term monitoring of OU #2 soils is ongoing.

The PRP plans to complete the study to determine how to address ground water contamination in OU #3. Following the study’s completion, cleanup activities for OU #3 ground water will begin.

The soil vapor extraction system for OU #4 continues to operate.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2012 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2017.

Top of page

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

Rowan County Public Library
201 W. Fisher Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Top of page

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.