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Barber Orchard
Waynesville, North Carolina

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Printable Version (PDF) (93 K, 1 p)

Site Description

The Barber Orchard site is a roughly 500 acre site located approximately 3 miles west of Waynesville, Haywood County, NC. This property was used as a commercial apple orchard from 1903 until the mid 1980s when a bank foreclosed on the owner's loan. In the late 1980s, 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 slated for residential development. In 1999, elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead, and organic pesticides were found in the soil, and in the majority of drinking water wells.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • Haywood County has extended the City of Waynesville's water system to the Orchard.
  • In September 2004, EPA issued the cleanup plan. The cleanup will include removing approximately 333,000 tons of contaminated soil and disposing it in off-site landfills. Once this cleanup is completed, people will be able to build on the land. The design for these activities was completed in September 2005 and a Superfund-State Contract has been signed.
  • The cleanup plan for operable unit (OU) number two, which will address ground water and ecological concerns, is expected to be issued in FY07.
  • Three current residential properties contain levels of arsenic in the surface soils above the cleanup level of 40 mg/kg. Numerous building permits have been issued to property owners where the level of arsenic in soil is below 40 mg/kg.
  • Two property owners are in the process of complying with the requirements of the special grant condition in order to obtain a building permit to build a home on their contaminated property.
  • Two property owners have placed perpetual land use restrictions on their property and have agreed to place a foot of clean soil on their property where their manicured lawn will exist. Several other property owners are in the process of placing these restrictions on their property in order to comply with the grant condition and obtain a building permit.
  • EPA has funded an arsenic bioavailability uptake study. The results of this study will allow EPA to use a site-specific arsenic bioavailability factor in the risk assessment. This study may lead to amending the ROD if the bioavailability study supports a change to the human health risk assessment.
  • In 1999-2000, an emergency response action removed approximately 31,500 tons of contaminated soils from 28 existing residential yards and installed a water filtration system in one residence.

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 to determine the full nature and extent of the contamination.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Barber Orchard Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 31 K) on the Region 4 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Approximately $5.0 million has been spent to date for emergency actions, and studies to determine the full nature and extent of contamination at the site.
  • The site has been fenced to limit access.


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