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Barber Orchard

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Site Description

The Barber Orchard site is located approximately 3 miles west of Waynesville, Haywood County, NC, and consists of approximately 500 acres. This property was used as a commercial apple orchard from 1903 until the mid 1980's when a bank foreclosed on the owner's loan. In the late 1980's, some of the land was parceled off and sold for residential properties, church properties, and commercial or light industrial property. The majority of the remaining acreage is planned to be developed into residential property. In 1999, elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead, and organic pesticides were found in the soil, and/or in the majority of drinking water wells.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In October 1999, EPA initiated a time-critical removal action removing surface soils (top foot) from 28 residential yards where arsenic levels exceeded 40 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). The excavated areas were backfilled with clean fill and landscaped. The action was completed in August 2000.
  • The response also included installing a water filtration system in one of the residents' homes. The other residents in the Orchard were encouraged to install a filtration system on their water system.
  • The Site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2001.
  • The work plan for the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) was approved by EPA on March 15, 2001.
  • During the summer/fall of 2001 and January 2002, EPA further investigated the nature and extent of the contamination.
  • During 2003 and the beginning of 2004, EPA collected a 5-point composite sample from nearly every acre in the orchard which allowed EPA to better estimate the quantity of contaminated soil in the orchard as well as inform the property owners as to if their particular property is clean or contaminated.
  • The County has spent $3.5 million to build a water line through the orchard, partially funded by an EPA grant. The grant stipulates that the property owners cannot build on the land until arsenic levels in the soil are below 40 mg/kg.
  • In September 2004, EPA issued the Record of Decision (ROD), which explained that EPA intended to clean up the Site by removing approximately 333,000 tons of contaminated soil. All of the materials will be properly disposed in off-site landfills. Once this cleanup is completed, people will be able to build on the land.
  • The remedial design (RD) outlining how EPA will implement the ROD was completed in September 2005.
  • The ROD for addressing the groundwater and ecological portions of the Site should be issued in 2006.

Current Funding Status

  • EPA spent approximately $4.0 million on the emergency response, which was conducted from 1999-2000.
  • EPA spent approximately $1.2 million on the RI/FS.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Barber Orchard Fact Sheet on the Region 4 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • In 1999, EPA collected soil samples from residential properties and groundwater samples from potable wells within the Orchard.
  • EPA initiated a time-critical removal action in October 1999, which was completed in August 2000. This action involved removing surface soils from 28 residential yards where arsenic levels exceeded 40 milligrams per kilogram.
  • The County spent $3.5 million to build a water line through the orchard, partially funded by an EPA grant.

 

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