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Brunswick Wood Preserving

Photos/Multimedia

Cleanup activities at Brunswick site
- 2008 Cleanup Video
- Cleanup Video #2 (2010)
- Cleanup Video #3 (2010)

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile

EPA ID: GAD981024466
Location: Brunswick, Glynn County, GA
Lat/Long: 31.242220, -081.528050
Congressional District: 01
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/23/96; Final: 4/01/97
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, Sediment
Cleanup Status: Construction Underway: physical cleanup activities at site have started
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Ground water Migration Under Control: No
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Currently unused
Site Manager: Brian Farrier (farrier.brian@epa.gov)



Current Status

The Brunswick Wood Preserving site includes the area where a wood treating facility operated from 1958 until 1991. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1994 because of contaminated ground water, soil and sediment resulting from facility operations. EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. In 2011, EPA completed soil and sediment cleanup activities, began sampling Burnett Creek and began treating ground water. By monitoring the site and treating ground water, EPA and Georgia EPD continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 84-acre site is located in Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia. Railroads border the site to the east and west, Perry Lane Road borders the site to the north and residences and wooded areas border the site to the south. Burnett Creek, a tidally influenced stream, is located on the western end of the site. Public and private wells near the site draw water from the deeper aquifer.

From 1958 until 1991, a wood treatment facility operated at the site. Operations included the three major types of wood treating: creosote, pentachlorophenol (PCP) and chromium/copper/arsenic (CCA). American Creosote Company constructed the facility between 1958 and 1960 and then sold it shortly afterward. Escambia Treating Company acquired the facility in 1969. Brunswick Wood Preserving Company continued operations until 1991. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulated the site at the time of a major spill of diesel fuel in 1989. In 1991, the State of Georgia completed a RCRA Facility Investigation Report shortly before the facility caught on fire and ceased operations. In 1997, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, soil and sediment that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from several activities, including waste handling practices, open dumping into Burnett Creek and accidental spills. In addition, operations sprayed wastes in the air over the wastewater holding ponds to reduce waste volumes. Contaminants of concern include dioxin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pentachlorophenol (PCP), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

Potential future risks to people and the environment exist due to contamination that has affected ground water, soil, sediment and Burnett Creek. EPA has conducted sampling of private wells since 1991. To date, EPA has determined that contamination has not affected private wells.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with Georgia EPD.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: contaminated soil, sediment and ground water; and OU2: ecological risks, primarily to Burnett Creek.

In 2002, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 2011, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to add a secondary belowground barrier wall and cap to the OU-1 cleanup plan.

Explanation of Significant Differences, June 2011 (PDF) (6 pp, 900K, About PDF)

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

Between 1991 and 1995, EPA conducted cleanup activities to address immediate concerns at the site. Cleanup activities included:

During 1996 and 1997, Georgia EPD conducted several cleanup activities, including installing a new railroad spur to facilitate cleanup activities and transporting off-site material from off-site waste cell for disposal.

In 2007, EPA began cleanup activities for OU-1. EPA removed the water, dug up the former waste pond areas and backfilled the areas. EPA dewatered, dug up and then backfilled the former pond areas. In 2008, EPA treated contaminated soil and sediment by solidifying it. Following treatment, EPA placed the soil and sediment under caps on site. In 2009, EPA completed the construction of the site’s subsurface barrier walls and the cap on the western portion of the site.

In 2009, the site received $8.3 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. EPA used the funds to construct the cap on the eastern portion of the site and to conduct additional cleanup activities. EPA also completed an ecological risk assessment for OU-2.

In 2010, EPA identified additional contamination outside the western barrier wall. EPA constructed a secondary subsurface barrier wall and a cap on the western portion of the site.

In 2011, EPA completed cleanup activities for OU-1, began operation of the ground water treatment system and conducted additional sampling of Burnett Creek sediment and biota for OU-2.

EPA OSC.net provides more information about EPA’s removal activities.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA has conducted cleanup activities at the site using federal funding, because of the time-critical nature of initial response activities and due to the inability of the company operating the site to finance those activities. 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has partly funded cleanup activities at the site.

EPA has recovered some past cleanup costs through Administrative Agreements with potentially responsible parties (PRPs). EPA identified other PRPs, but the liability attributable to each was not sufficient to require those parties to fund the cleanup.

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Community Involvement

EPA has worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included regular updates sent to the site mailing list, public notices, information meetings and three videos.

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Future Work

Monitoring of the remedy and treating of ground water are ongoing.

EPA plans to issue a ROD for OU-2 in 2012.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Three Rivers Regional Library
208 Gloucester Street
Brunswick, GA  31523

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