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Protecting Human Health and the Environment: Superfund Marks the 1000th Construction Completion

Before cleanup
After cleanup

Macalloy Corporation Site in North Charleston, South Carolina is the 1000th Superfund site to reach the construction completion milestone.

Construction work at the Macalloy Corporation site in North Charleston, South Carolina was completed in the Fall of 2006, making it the 1000th site to reach the "construction completion" milestone. 1,006 of 1,557 sites (65 percent) on the National Priorities List (NPL) have had all immediate threats eliminated. At sites that are construction complete, a remedy has been designed and built that prevents contaminants from spreading through the soil, surface water or ground water.

"Reaching the 1000th construction completion is a major milestone for the Superfund program," said EPA Administrator Steve Johnson. "Ninety-five percent of all sites listed on the NPL are construction complete or have construction underway. This is a testament to Superfund's success and to EPA's commitment to protecting human health and the environment."

The Superfund program was created on December 11, 1980 to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Through the Superfund program, EPA and its partners have addressed sites across all U.S. states and territories that pose current or future threats to human health or the environment. Superfund achieved its first construction completion in 1983 and continues to strive to engage communities in creating safe environments that will better serve community residential, recreational, and business needs. Over 400 sites across the country that were once abandoned or underused and had become eyesores in their communities have now been redeveloped into invaluable community resources.

The Threat. The Macalloy Corporation site is a 150 acre piece of land that was home to a ferrochrome alloy plant from 1941 to 1998. Ferrochrome alloy is used in the production of high-quality stainless steel. Monitoring indicated that surface water discharges from the facility repeatedly exceeded permissible levels of chromium and hexavalent chromium, a suspected cancer-causing agent. Because of widespread contamination, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) closed Shipyard Creek to the harvesting of any shrimp and shellfish. The site was added to the NPL in 2000.

The Remediation. Under a consent agreement with EPA, Macalloy Corporation undertook initial removal actions in 1998 to create an extensive storm water management system to reduce contamination of Shipyard Creek. Cleanup activities took place from 2004 to 2006. By the end of the cleanup,

  • Over 1 million gallons of chemical reagent were injected into soil to treat contaminated groundwater;
  • 200,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and sediment were treated on-site;
  • 200 tons of contaminated debris and soil were excavated and removed;
  • Contaminated sediments were removed from a 1000 foot portion of Shipyard Creek, which was then covered with a clean layer of sand; and
  • A comprehensive storm water management system was installed.

The Accomplishment. Cleanup at the Macalloy site was quick, and integrating remediation with redevelopment reduced the costs of cleanup by several million dollars. In 2005, the site was purchased by Ashley II, a partnership among local and national real estate interests. The site became part of a new urban development called the Magnolia project, making the redevelopment project at Macalloy part of the largest environmental cleanup of former industrial property in South Carolina ever undertaken by a private company. Existing commercial and industrial businesses along the Ashley River will be relocated onto about 30 acres of the site, and the Charleston area is expected to benefit from a brand new port facility at the remaining roughly 115 acres of the site. To ensure that the remedy has been effective, EPA will continue to monitor groundwater, the sediment cap thickness, and the continued effectiveness of the storm water management system on an annual basis.


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