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Benfield Industries, Inc.


Aerial view of redeveloped Benfield Industries site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD981026479
Location: Waynesville, Haywood County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.477780, -083.004160
Congressional District: 11
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 10/04/89
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: Yes
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse –commercial land uses are located on site
Site Manager: Robert West (west.robert@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Benfield Industries, Inc. site includes the area where Benfield Industries mixed and packaged bulk materials for resale from 1971 until 1983. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated ground water and soil resulting from facility operations. EPA and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) 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. By monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA and NCDENR continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 3.5-acre site is part of a larger 6-acre area on Riverbend Street in Waynesville, Haywood County, North Carolina. The site includes several buildings and parking areas. A residential and a commercial business border the site to the north, Riverbend Street borders the site to the east, a residential area borders the site to the south and the Southern Railway and Browning Branch Creek border the site to the west. The site’s broader surroundings include industrial, commercial and residential areas.

From 1971 until 1983, Benfield Industries mixed and packaged bulk materials for resale at the site. The company’s facility handled and stored paint thinners, solvents, sealants, cleaners, de-icing solutions and wood preservatives. In 1982, a fire destroyed most on-site structures and ended operations. In 1989, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

In 2002, Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Inc. (HVO) purchased the site property. In 2004, HVO redeveloped the site into a vocational training center and a manufacturing facility with multiple parking areas. Fencing around the site limits access. The site’s cleanup supports commercial and industrial land uses. In April 2013, EPA presented to HVO Region 4’s “Excellence in Site Reuse” Award for HVO involvement in the cleanup and redevelopment of the site.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site.  Contaminant of concern include pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Contamination affected approximately 18,000 cubic yards of soil. Contamination also affected ground water, which extended approximately 100-to-200 feet off site.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with NCDENR. Between 1990-1992, EPA conducted the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility study using Superfund funding.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1992, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 1995, EPA issued a ROD Amendment to change the cleanup plan for both site soils and ground water. The changes included:

For soil -

•      Excavate and screen, using a one to four inch mesh screen, approximately 18,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils.

•      Pressure washing/steam clean coarse soil material and bio-treat the smaller soil material which contains the soil fines and the associated contaminants.

•      Following biotreatment and confirmation sampling, the cleaned large and small soil material will be backfilled into the excavated areas.

 For ground water -

•      Contaminated ground water will be extracted from within and at the periphery of the plume via extraction wells and piped to the Town of Waynesville sewer system.

•      Treatment will occur at the Town of Waynesville's publicly owned treatment works which currently is in compliance and has the capacity to accept the extracted ground water.

In 2002, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to require an institutional control on the site property to restrict ground water use at the site. The issuance of this ESD was coordinated with HVO purchasing the property.

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

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Cleanup Progress

After the fire at the site in 1982, the owner of the facility removed all debris, including usable chemicals, fire debris, recyclable materials and storage tanks, and then covered the site with clean soil. The owner completed these activities before EPA listed the site on the NPL.

In 1998, EPA dug up and treated 13,500 tons of contaminated soil using manure and hay in an on-site treatment unit. In 1999, the Agency conducted additional treatment of approximately 12,000 tons of soil. EPA treated an additional 6,000 tons of soil in 2000. Following treatment, EPA replaced soil in the dug-up areas. The Agency finished grading and seeding the site in 2000.

EPA completed construction of the site’s ground water pump-and-treat system in 2001. The system included two extraction wells and discharged water into the local wastewater treatment system. From 2001 until 2007, the system extracted and discharged over 22 million gallons of ground water. In 2007, EPA reviewed the system and recommended its shutdown. This effort was captured in the Streamline Remediation System Evaluation (RSE-Lite) Report (September 2007). The Agency shut down the system in 2007 and began the use of monitored natural attenuation to address ground water contamination.

The site’s first and second Five-Year Reviews were completed in 2003 and 2008, respectively. The third Five-Year Review was completed in September 2013 and found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. The Five-Year Review recommended that EPA complete the investigation/evaluation of technologies to address residual contamination in the soils at the ground water table interface in the western portion of the Site and implement appropriate the technology.

The Agency with the assistance of NCDENR, will prepare the fourth Five-Year Review Report which should be completed by the end of September 2018.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA was unable to identify any viable potentially responsible parties for the site. EPA is using federal funds for site cleanup activities.

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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 public notices, interviews and public meetings.

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Future Work

EPA is working to issue a ROD Amendment and plans to hold a public meeting in Waynesville in 2014 to discuss the proposed ROD Amendment.

Annual ground water monitoring is ongoing.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2013 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2018.

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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

Hazelwood Town Hall
121 West Georgia Avenue
Hazelwood, NC 28738

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