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NPL Site Narrative for Koppers Co., Inc. (Charleston Plant)

Charleston, South Carolina

Federal Register Notice:  December 16, 1994

Conditions at Proposal (February 7, 1992): A milling, wood-preserving, and pole storage facility operated in the Charleston Heights District of Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, between 1925-78. Koppers, Inc. operated the facility between 1945 and 1978. The 102-acre site is in a mixed industrial/residential area. It is bordered on the west by Ashley River, and on the north and south by industrial facilities. Approximately 94,000 people live within 4 miles of the site.

Sources of hazardous substances on the site include a pit where timbers were soaked in creosote wood preservative, the "drip pad area" where the timbers were stored, and a bermed area that received contaminated sediment from canal dredging on the site. Southern Dredging Co. leased part of the site in 1978 after wood-preserving operations had stopped. In 1984, the company dredged a canal from the Ashley River, intersecting a waste disposal area. Dredged materials were placed in the bermed area.

EPA tests conducted in 1988 detected numerous polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are constituents of creosote, in soil in all three sources. Runoff from all three sources enters the Ashley River. The 1988 tests found PAHs, chromium, copper, and zinc (metals typically used in wood preservatives) in sediment samples from the canal and the Ashley River.

Wetlands are adjacent to the site, and wetlands to the west and southwest are a State wildlife sanctuary. The Ashley River and Charleston Harbor support recreational and commercial fishing, and serve as important breeding and nursery habitats for a variety of marine finfish and shellfish.

Status (December 1994): Beazer East, Inc., formerly Koppers Co., entered into an Administrative Order by Consent with EPA Region 4 on January 14, 1993 for the performance of an Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the Site. The results of the RI are scheduled to be released to the public in early 1995. Interim Measures will also be proposed to the public at this time to mitigate off-site migration of the site contaminants from the former treatment area to surface waters and subsequently the sensitive Northern marsh areas.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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