Celanese Corp. (Shelby Fibers Operations)
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: NCD003446721
Location: Shelby, Cleveland County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.208880, -081.528330
Congressional District: 09
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/15/84; Final: 06/10/86
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Solid Waste
Cleanup Status: Construction Complete - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Continued Industrial Use - A polyester resin and fiber manufacturing facility.
Site Manager: Beth Walden (email@example.com)
The 450-acre Celanese Corporation (Shelby Fibers Operation) site, located in Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina, is an active manufacturing facility. Since 1960, the Celanese plant has produced filament thread and polyester chip, which is used for a wide range of molded products, such as typewriter keys and automotive parts. During the 1960s, combustible materials, including oils and solvents, were burned in the open in a smaller area on the plant. Between 1970 and 1978, the company used a 3-acre area on the site for the temporary storage of drums of waste chemicals and solvents.
Soil, ground water, and sediments at the site are contaminated with a variety of facility-related compounds, including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, inorganic chemicals, and volatile organic compounds.
Within 0.25 miles of the site are 47 private drinking water wells; the closest is approximately 1,500 feet downgradient of the monitoring well with the highest levels of organic chemicals. The site is located approximately 3,500 feet from Buffalo Creek, the source of the plant's drinking water.
Site Cleanup Plan
The cleanup plan for the Celanese Corporation site covered two operable units (OUs): OU-1 (ground water pump-and-treat) and OU-2 (source control).
The Record of Decision (ROD) for OU-1 was issued in 1988. Major elements of the cleanup plan included:
- Extraction of ground water using tow tiers of extraction wells.
- Treatment of extracted ground water with air stripping, precipitation with adjustment to pH, biological treatments, and/or carbon adsorption, as appropriate.
The ROD for OU-2 was finalized in 1989. Major elements of the cleanup plan included:
- Excavation of glycol recovery unit (GRU) sludges, plastic chips, burn pit residuals and stream sediments.
- On-site incineration of contaminated soils and GRU sludges.
- Chemical fixation (solidification) of incinerator ash; plastic chips, burn pit residuals and stream sediments.
- On-site disposal of inert, solidified material.
The OU-1 remedy was constructed in 1989 and the ground water extraction and treatment system continued to operate until 2004. In April of 2004, an Explanation of Significant Differences changed the remedy to a 2-year trial period of monitored natural attenuation (MNA). This remedy uses natural processes to reduce concentrations of contaminants in ground water. The MNA study period was extended in 2006 and additional treatment technologies are currently being reviewed.
The OU-2 remedial action was conducted from 1991 to 1992. Approximately 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated source wastes were excavated and treated with on-site incineration and solidification. The solidified materials were backfilled on site, and the areas were regraded and seeded with grass.
EPA deleted a remediated portion of the property from the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1998.
Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by the potentially responsible party (PRP) with oversight by EPA.
The PRP completed the remedial design and remedial action for OU-1 and OU-2 under Consent Decrees signed in October 1988 and June 1989, respectively.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Celanese Corporation 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.
In 2008, EPA initiated an independent review of remedial approaches for ground water at the site. The review is currently underway and will characterize source areas and delineate contaminant plumes. Once completed, the results will be used to determine the most appropriate ground water treatment for the site.
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.
Cleveland County Memorial Library
104 Howie Drive
Shelby, NC 28150
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.