NPL Site Narrative for Wright Chemical Corporation
WRIGHT CHEMICAL CORPORATION
Riegelwood, North Carolina
The Wright Chemical Corporation site is located outside of the City of Riegelwood along the banks of Livingston Creek. The area of concern for the purposes of NPL listing is approximately 80 acres where fertilizer manufacturing operations formerly occurred.
From the 1880s through the 1960s, Acme Manufacturing Company operated a fertilizer manufacturing facility on the southern parcel and operated a lead chamber sulfuric acid plant across the railroad tracks on the northern parcel. Acme merged with Wright Chemical Corporation in 1968. Wright Chemical Corporation continued operation of the acid plant and constructed a second acid plant just to the east, which operated until 1991.
Arsenic, lead, mercury, and the pesticides dieldrin and gamma-chlordane have been detected in soil between the former acid plant and a surface water pathway. De-vegetation is evident down gradient from the former acid plant due to low pH of the soils. This source area drains to Livingston Creek and the Cape Fear River approximately 2 miles from the site. Metals and pesticide contamination is present in Livingston Creek sediments, as well as in clam and fish tissue samples.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
Livingston Creek is a freshwater creek containing a fishery and wetlands. Downriver is a brackish estuary also containing a fishery and wetlands. Sediment in Livingston Creek, a documented fishery containing a federally endangered fish species, contain an observed release of arsenic, lead and other metals as well as pesticides at levels exceeding the Probable Effects Level (PEL) for freshwater sediment as set forth by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Clam and fish tissues sampled in 2004 showed that concentrations of these constituents exceeded their respective recommended concentration range. Arsenic and lead were also found in the wetlands of Livingston Creek.
Response Activities (to date):
EPA has completed assessment activities at the site. The Expanded Site Inspection was completed in June 2008, recommending listing of the site on the NPL.
Need for NPL Listing:
The State of North Carolina referred the site to EPA because of widespread contamination on the property. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated, but are not viable at this time. EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
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.