Newsom Brothers/Old Reichhold Chemicals
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: MSD980840045
Location: Columbia, Marion County, MS
Lat/Long: 31.244710, -089.826930
Congressional District: 04
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/15/84; Final 06/10/86; Deleted: 09/27/00
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil, and Sediment
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL - Physical cleanup activities have been completed
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Commercial - A furniture store operates on a parcel of the site.
Site Manager: Carolyn Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 81-acre Newsom Brothers site, located in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi, was used to produce wood derivatives such as resin, turpentine, pine oil and tall oil. The process involved grinding pine stumps and digesting them with a boiling liquor of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite. The wood derivative facility operated continuously on the site for almost 50 years under various owners. In January 1975, Reichhold Chemicals purchased the property and used the facility to mix pentachlorophenol with diesel oil. An explosion and fire in one of the boiler units destroyed most of the processing facility in 1977 and operations ceased. In 1984, EPA's initial investigation discovered 600 surface drums, two contaminated on-site ponds and several areas of contaminated soil.
Soil, sediments, and ground water at the site were found to be contaminated by a wide variety of inorganic and organic constituents. The major contaminants of concern (COCs) included benzene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, various carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs) and pentachlorophenol (PCP).
No ground water contaminant plume could be identified, but benzene, ethyl benzene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, phthalates, and other organics were detected in ground water samples.
Site Cleanup Plan
The cleanup plan for the Newsom Brothers site covers two operable units (OUs): OU-1 (soils and sediments) and OU-2 (North Pond).
The Record of Decision (ROD) for OU-1 was issued in 1989. Major components of the cleanup approach included:
- Removal of materials containing asbestos.
- Removal of aboveground and underground storage tanks.
- Draining of on-site ponds.
- Excavation of contaminated pond and creek sediments and contaminated soils for off-site disposal at an approved facility.
- Filling of on-site ponds with clean fill material.
- Excavation of remaining tar-like waste material for off-site thermal destruction and disposal at an approved facility.
- Ground water monitoring and actions to prevent erosion.
The ROD for OU-2 was issued in 1997. The ROD explained that, because of the limited and sporadic nature of the ground water contamination and because no exposure pathway exists, EPA determined that no remedial action was required to address OU-2. EPA would initiate a three year ground water monitoring plan with quarterly monitoring during the first year and semi-annual monitoring during years two and three. If ground water monitoring indicated that the site posed a threat to human health or the environment, EPA, in consultation with the State of Mississippi, would reconsider the feasibility of ground water remediation. If the ground water monitoring indicated that the site no longer presents a threat to human health and the environment, monitoring would terminate after the three year period.
EPA performed two emergency removal actions at the site in 1984 and 1987. The 1984 action involved the removal of over 600 55-gallon drums and the draining of two on-site ponds. The second removal action in 1987 involved the removal of approximately 1,920 tons of contaminated soil and 3,900 empty and partially filled drums.
Site cleanup activities were led primarily by the responsible party with oversight by EPA. Cleanup actions taken by Reichhold Chemicals, the responsible party, included: removal of materials containing asbestos; removal of aboveground and underground storage tanks; excavation of contaminated soils; excavation of black tar-like waste material; drainage of on-site ponds; disposal of contaminated sediments off site; and ground water monitoring.
A three-year ground water monitoring program was concluded in December 1999. The final ground water report, submitted in early 2000, indicated that no threat to the environment or human health exists in the ground water at the site.
On July 25, 1990, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi entered a consent decree between EPA and Reichhold, R.R. Newsom, Jr., and R.R. Newsom, Sr., for the performance of the Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA) associated with OU-1 at the site.On October 20, 1994, an amendment to the OU-1 consent decree was entered by the Court to include the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) associated with OU-2.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Newsom Brothers site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices, interviews, and public meetings on cleanup activities and updates.Several community groups have formed to represent concerned citizens over the years. The most recent group is the Jesus People Against Pollution (JPAP), which formed in 1992. JPAP has been an active participant ever since and currently is the only active group around the site. JPAP was awarded a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) for the site.
The Notice of Deletion from the National Priorities List was finalized and published in the Federal Register on September 27, 2000. No Five-Year Reviews are required for the site. No further updates are warranted at this time.
Site Administrative Documents
For more information or to view any site-related documents, please visit the site information repository at the following location. As new documents are generated, they will be placed in the information repository for public information.
South Mississippi Regional Library
900 Broad St.
Columbia, MS 39429
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.