News Releases from Region 04
Burlington Industries Site in Cheraw, S.C. Added to National Priorities List
ATLANTA (May 15, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the addition of the Burlington Industries Site in Cheraw, S.C., to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The Burlington site is one of six sites added nationally to the NPL.
“EPA is making tremendous progress accelerating sites through the entire Superfund remediation process and returning them to safe and productive reuse,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Adding these sites to the proposed and final National Priorities List is the next step toward cleaning up these sites and creating a healthier environment for the affected communities.”
“South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) referred the Burlington Industries Site to EPA in order to take immediate action to protect residents’ health,” said Trey Glenn, Region 4 Administrator. “Finalizing the Site to the National Priorities List will allow EPA to assess any remaining risks and fully clean up the site.”
The site consists of the former Burlington Industries, Inc. facility property, as well as 3.2 miles of surface water drainage from the facility to the Pee Dee River and the adjacent parcels along the pathway. These include 37 occupied private residences and Huckleberry Park, a 2.7-acre public park with playground equipment. DHEC investigated one such residential property previously owned by Burlington Industries and found elevated levels of biphenyls (PCBs) in soil. Subsequent sampling found PCBs in soils of adjacent residential lots, the former Burlington Industries property, sediments along the surface water corridor, as well as public and private properties downstream. PCBs persist in the environment, accumulate in fish and other animals, and can cause health effects in humans.
EPA began a removal action to address highly contaminated surface soils at 14 residential yards in April 2017. Soils which exceed EPA’s cleanup criteria were removed and transported to an approved disposal facility. Clean soil was returned to residential properties and vegetative ground cover was added to prevent erosion. Adding the Site to the NPL will allow EPA to conduct a comprehensive assessment of risks to public health and the environment, and take any additional clean up actions needed. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term clean up.
Superfund, which Congress established in 1980, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites. The Superfund law directs EPA to update the NPL annually. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup. Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country.
EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment and deletes sites from the NPL once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved.
Cleanups increase tax revenue and create jobs during and after cleanup. According to EPA data, 487 of the 888 Superfund sites cleaned up for reuse supported approximately 6,600 businesses in 2017. And these businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales of $43.6 billion and employ more than 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.
All of the six sites being added to the NPL were included in the most recent proposed rule in January 2018, evidence of the EPA’s commitment to expediting the Superfund process.
The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations that were announced in July 2017 to improve and revitalize the Superfund program.
The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites
For information about Superfund and the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/superfund
For more information about the Burlington Industries Cheraw Site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/burlington-cheraw