Cape Fear Wood Preserving
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: NCD003188828
Location: Fayetteville, Cumberland County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.049450, -079.020830
Congressional District: 08
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/10/86; Final: 07/22/87
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface Water
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Jon Bornhom (email@example.com)
The Cape Fear site is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with Superfund-related contamination affecting approximately nine acres of a 41-acre tract. The Cape Fear Wood Preserving facility produced creosote-treated wood from 1953 until 1978. The site has remained unused since 1988, when SECo Investments, Inc. purchased the property.
Liquid and sludge wastes from the creosote process were pumped into a concrete sump north of the treatment unit. As liquid separated from the sludge, it was pumped into a drainage ditch that lies southeast of the developed portion of the site and discharged into a diked pond. Storm water runoff from the treatment yard also drained to this ditch. Waste from the treatment process was pumped into an unlined lagoon north of the dry kiln and allowed to percolate into the ground.
The site is adjacent to other industrial/commercial/agricultural establishments as well as private residences. Four homes are near the site and a subdivision is located approximately a quarter of a mile south of the site. Approximately 2,250 people live near the site.
Soil, ground water, and surface water/sediment have been contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (which are organic compounds grouped under the general term of coal-tar based creosote), benzene and the metals - copper, chromium, and arsenic.
Site Cleanup Plan
The 1989 Record of Decision (R0D) established the following cleanup goals for the site:
- Remediation of hazardous materials tanks and piping.
- Off-site disposal of sodium dicromate - copper sulfate - arsenic pentoxide (CCA) salt crystals, the solidified creosote and asbestos-containing pipe insulation.
- Contaminated soils/sediment will be excavated, treated, and placed back in the excavation. All wastewater generated will either be reused or treated on site.
- Ground water cleanup through the use of well points in the upper (surficial) aquifer.
The ROD was modified by an Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) in 1991. The ESD accomplished the following: selected soil washing over low thermal desorption as the primary technology to address soil contamination; stipulated that the organic contaminants attached to the clay/silts in the slurry generated by the soil washing process would be bio-degraded using indigenous micro-organisms in an on-site bioreactor; selected activated carbon adsorption as the primary treatment technology for treating ground water; recognized the potential need for pretreatment of the contaminated water stream to remove suspended solids and oxidized iron prior to activated carbon filtration; and selected Bones Creek as the discharge point for the treated water.
The ROD was modified by a second ESD in 1995. This ESD was required in order to discharge treated water into the drainage ditch on the southeast side of the site as activities conducted during the early phase of the site cleanup generated small amounts of contaminated water.
The ROD was modified by a third ESD signed in May, 1996. This modification eliminated the bio-treatment step of the slurry from the soil remediation process, and changed the point of discharge of the treated water to the local water treatment plant.
The ROD was modified with a ROD Amendment signed on March 23, 2001. This ROD Amendment modified the ground water remediation alternative specified on the 1989 ROD to allow site cleanup to better address the dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) (liquid creosote and its carrying oil) that was present in the subsurface soil at the site.
The Remedial Action Work Plan divided the remedial action (RA) into four phases. Phase I focused on removing hazardous materials and physical hazardous from the surface of the Site as well as demolition of the on-site structures. Phase II addressed the contaminated soils underneath an active railroad line that forms the western boundary of the Site. Phase III addressed the soil contamination at the Site. Phases I and II were completed in December 1996. Phase III treated approximately 110,000 cubic yards of soil using thermal desorption and was completed in April 1999. Phase IV focused on cleaning up the contaminated groundwater. The original 1990 remedial design (RD) for addressing the contaminated groundwater had to be re-evaluated when it was determined that a dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) (i.e., liquid creosote and its carrying oil) was present in the subsurface at the Site. The revised groundwater design was approved by the Agency in October 2000. Because the revised design included a number of new technologies, a ROD Amendment was issued on March 23, 2001. Construction of Phase IV began in May 2001 and was completed in August 2001. The groundwater extraction system involves 8 groundwater extraction wells with 4 of them having a second pump to remove the DNAPL. Treatment of groundwater occurs on-site through the use of activated carbon filters. Treated groundwater is discharged through 11 on-site infiltration galleries.
In 2004, the Agency conducted a Remediation System Evaluation (RSE) at the Site. This effort involves using a third-party to evaluate Site operations. These are broad evaluations that consider the goals of a remedy, the site conceptual model, above-ground and subsurface performance, and site exit strategy. The report for this effort made a number of recommendations. Originally, the treated groundwater was amended with urea and ammonium phosphate prior to being discharged to promote in situ biodegradation (the breakdown of contaminants in the subsurface by naturally occurring bacteria). The addition of the urea and ammonium was discontinued in 2004 in response to the RSE report. The original cleanup effort included 12 air sparging wells to help remove benzene and promote biodegradation. This system was also turned off based on the findings of the RSE. A third recommendation was to delineate the extent of groundwater contamination in the east-southeast direction. This was accomplished in May 2009. Between October 2004 and February 2005, the Agency conducted on-site in-situ thermal DNAPL desorption treatability study. The primary goal of this study was to determine if the Agency could aggressively remove the DNAPL (i.e., removed the DNAPL from the subsurface more quickly) at the Site. As part of the effort, four additional extraction points were installed. The conclusion of this effort is that it is possible to remove the DNAPL. The Agency needs to evaluate the pros and cons of aggressively removing the DNAPL at the Site. In the near future, the Agency will reassess the boundaries of both the remaining DNAPL and residual DNAPL at the Site in an effort to treat these areas more aggressively.
Operation & maintenance (O&M) activities include weekly Site visits to check on the groundwater extraction, treatment, and discharge systems as well as responding to alarms sent out by the computer control system at the Site. Regular maintenance activities include changing bag filters and transferring the contents of the DNALP storage tank to 55-gallon drums. Other maintenance activities include collecting occasional influent and effluent samples to check on the status of the activated carbon filters along with measuring groundwater levels and collecting groundwater samples from numerous of monitoring/extraction wells.
As of May 2011, over 34.9 million gallons of groundwater was been treated with the theoretical mass of dissolved contaminants removed at 2,900 pounds. Approximately 18,360 gallons (168,120 pounds) of DNAPL has also been removed.The first Five-Year Review (FYR) was completed in September 2006. The purpose of conducting a five-year review is to determine whether the remedy implemented at a Site is protective of human health. The September 2006 Five-Year Review Report concluded that the remedy at the Site is currently protective of human health and the environment in the short-term because the main source of contamination was remediated through source removal. Currently, no human or ecological exposure pathways exist to contaminated groundwater or soil. As stated in the 1989 ROD and/or 2001 ROD Amendment, the goal of the Cape Fear remedial action is to reduce on-site levels of contamination as to allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. However, as there is a dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) present, this goal will not be achieved for a long time. Therefore, to insure long-term protection during this interim, the Agency has decided to implement institutional controls at the Site.
The current owner of the property has expressed some interest to the Agency about redeveloping a portion of the property.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Cape Fear 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.
EPA has completed delineating the boundaries of both the remaining DNAPL and residual DNAPL at the site and is currently evaluating a number of different technologies to treat these areas more aggressively in order to shorten the remediation timeframe.
Operation & maintenance activities continue at the site.
The next FYR for the site is scheduled for 2011.
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.
Cumberland County Public Library
300 Maiden Lane
Fayetteville, NC 28301
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.