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Northeast Chemical Company

National Information
Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCSFN0406973
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County, NC
Lat/Long: 34.22651, -077.949076
Congressional District: 07
NPL Status: Not on NPL
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete – Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: NA
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: NA
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued use – industrial and commercial land uses are located on site
Site Manager: Ken Mallary (mallary.ken@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Northeast Chemical Company site includes an area where a phosphate fertilizer facility operated from 1906 to the 1980s. Because of contamination associated with the facility, EPA authorized a removal action, a short-term cleanup, at the site. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and Koch Sulfur Products Company LLC and Estech Inc., the successors to Northeast Chemical 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. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By monitoring ground water, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 68-acre site is located on the west bank of the Northeast Cape Fear River in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina. The site includes three properties: the Flowers property, the Southern States property and the Louisiana Pacific property. The 10-acre Flowers property includes two commercial businesses located along Highway 421. The 44-acre Southern States property includes office, maintenance and warehouse buildings, a laboratory, a construction trailer and the foundation slab of a former building. The 14-acre Louisiana Pacific property includes a lumber milling and distribution facility. The Northeast Cape Fear River borders the site to the east. The Virginia Carolina Chemical (VCC) Almont Works site borders the site to the south. U.S. Highway 421 borders the site to the west. A former fertilizer manufacturing plant borders the site to the north.

From 1906 tol the 1980s, a phosphate fertilizer facility operated at the site. Manufacturing involved combining phosphate ores with sulfuric acid to produce phosphoric acid, the building block of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium agricultural fertilizers. Operators produced sulfuric acid at the site and stored it in lead-insulated chambers.

In 1982, a sulfuric acid manufacturing facility began operating at the site. Southern States bought part of the site in 2001 and continues to operate a sulfuric acid manufacturing facility. In 2002, the site’s PRPs voluntarily accepted responsibility for site cleanup and conducted an engineering evaluation/cost analysis and a non-time-critical removal action at the site. Commercial businesses and a lumber facility also operate on site.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, sediment and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from fertilizer manufacturing operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include lead and arsenic. Low pH conditions are also of concern.

The site’s PRPs will place institutional controls on the site property to restrict land use to commercial or industrial uses.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

PRPs lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 2004, EPA signed an Action Memorandum, which authorized the use of a non-time-critical removal action, a short-term cleanup, to address the contamination at the site and described EPA’s preferred plan for addressing it. The plan included the following activities:

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Cleanup Progress

In 1994, the site’s PRPs removed approximately 2,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil.

In 2000, EPA stabilized contaminated soil and installed a retaining wall to prevent contamination from entering the Northeast Cape Fear River.

In 2002, the PRPs agreed to perform the engineering evaluation/cost analysis for the site. The PRPs completed the engineering evaluation/cost analysis in 2003.

In 2007, the PRPs conducted the site’s non-time-critical removal action.

The PRPs completed site cleanup activities in 2008. Following their completion, EPA signed the site’s Removal Action Report. 

The PRPs will place institutional controls on the site property. The PRPs will also continue ground water monitoring to determine the effectiveness of site cleanup activities.

The site’s PRPs have placed institutional controls on the site properties.

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Enforcement Activities

In 2002, the site’s PRPs voluntarily entered into a legal agreement to conduct an engineering evaluation/cost analysis to fully investigate site-related contamination and determine potential risks to public health and the environment caused by the release or threatened release of contamination from the site.

The PRPs funded site cleanup activities and continue to fund site monitoring and oversight.

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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. EPA cannot fulfill its mission without community engagement and public outreach as core components of the program’s activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the site to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices and information meetings.

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Future Work

Ground water monitoring activities at the site are ongoing.


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Additinal 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

New Hanover County Public Library
201 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

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