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Holcomb Creosote Co.

Photos/Multimedia

Drip pad location at Holcomb Creosote site. (source: OSC.net)

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD024900987
Location: Yadkinville, Yadkin County, NC
Lat/Long: 36.157875, -080.675236
Congressional District: 8
NPL Status: Proposed: 3/15/12; Final: 9/18/12
Affected Media: Soil, Sediment, Ground water, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Early Action Initiated/Completed; Study Underway
Human Exposure Under Control: The EPA is working to determine control status
Groundwater Migration Under Control: The EPA is working to determine exposure control status
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Joe Alfano (alfano.joe@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Holcomb Creosote Co site includes an area where Holcomb Creosote Company operated a wood treating facility from the 1950s to 2009. The EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2012 because of contaminated soil, sediment, ground water, surface water and on-site structures resulting from facility operations. The EPA and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) have taken steps to clean up the site to protect people and the environment from contamination. The EPA conducted emergency response activities in 2011 to stop contamination from spreading off site. The EPA and the NCDENR continue to make sure people and the environment are protected from site contamination through site investigations and studies.

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Site Location and Background

The site is about 80 acres in size and located at 5016 U.S. Highway 601 in Yadkinville in western North Carolina. It includes an inactive wood treating facility. U.S. Highway 601 borders the site to the west. An unnamed stream (tributary) of North Deep Creek borders the site to the east. The stream feeds into Dobbins Mill Pond, which borders the site to the south. A church borders the site to the north.

Holcomb Creosote Company operated a creosote wood treating facility at the site from the 1950s to 2009. Operators used creosote coal tar solutions to pressure treat posts and lumber. Operators allowed the products to drip dry on a drip pad at the site. Until 1983, creosote wastes were stored in an 80,000-gallon unlined surface impoundment in the southern portion of the site. A 0.75-acre unlined land treatment unit east of the stream was filled with sludge from the surface impoundment. In the early 1990s, operators stopped using the drip pad and allowed the products to dry in the treatment area. Operations resulted in releases of creosote into the stream next to the site. In February 2009, Holcomb Creosote Company went out of business, leaving tanks, an open concrete pit containing creosote and waste sludge, numerous drums, and a 3-acre area of heavily stained soil at the site. The EPA addressed these issues in 2011 as part of an emergency response action.

In October 2011, the North Carolina Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program referred the site to the EPA’s Superfund program to address known and potential hazardous waste contamination.

In 2012, the EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is currently not in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations identified contamination in soil, sediment, ground water and surface water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from wood treating operations at the site. Contaminants of concern identified include creosote, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The EPA conducted an emergency response action in 2011 to stop the spread of contamination into the unnamed stream of North Deep Creek and nearby Dobbins Mill Pond. This action removed the threat of direct exposure to contamination from contact with surface soils and in a portion of the sediment in the stream. EPA OSC.net provides more information about the EPA’s emergency response activities.

Currently, the EPA is conducting a remedial investigation/feasibility study to assess site-related threats to people and the environment and to evaluate risk and cleanup options.

Fencing controls access to part of the site associated with the surface impoundment and sediments of the unnamed stream (tributary) of North Deep Creek. The remainder of the site is not fenced.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with the NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

After completing the remedial investigation/feasibility study, the EPA will issue a proposed cleanup plan to address any contamination and related risk to people and the environment. After receiving input from the NCDENR and the community, the EPA will issue the final cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD). After issuing the plan, the EPA will begin preparations to carry out the approved cleanup activities.

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Cleanup Progress

In 2011, the EPA conducted an emergency response action to stop contamination releases and the spread of contamination into the unnamed stream and nearby Dobbins Mill Pond. The EPA installed a boom across the stream to capture contaminated surface water, disposed of creosote-contaminated lumber, dug up contaminated soil, backfilled dug-up areas with clean soil and removed site structures containing creosote-contaminated sludge.

The EPA also collected samples from the stream and on-site structures, removed contaminated soil from along the stream’s banks, and installed a fence to prevent trespassing on part of the site associated with the surface impoundment and sediments of the unnamed stream (tributary) of North Deep Creek. EPA OSC.net provides more information about the EPA’s emergency response activities.

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Enforcement Activities

In November 2009, the NCDENR inspected the site property and noted several areas of concern, including a creosote treatment vessel, a 55-gallon sump, a catch basin, a transfer area and underlying soils, a concrete storage pit, aboveground storage tanks, and about 30 55-gallon containers. As a result of this investigation, the NCDENR issued several notices of violations to Holcomb Creosote Company, including: failure to determine whether solid waste generated by the company was a hazardous waste; failure to obtain a permit for storage and disposal of waste creosote; and failure to treat, store and dispose of hazardous waste in compliance with state and federal regulations.

In October 2011, the North Carolina RCRA program referred the site to the EPA’s Superfund program to address known and potential hazardous waste contamination.

The NCDENR has conducted a significant amount of work at the site under the RCRA program. With the transition of the site to the Superfund program, the scope of the environmental assessment at the site has expanded.

The EPA is funding site investigation and cleanup activities.

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Community Involvement

The EPA is working 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.

The EPA is conducting a range of community involvement activities to ask for community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts include public notices and information meetings on cleanup progress and activities.

In February 2012, the EPA, the NCDENR and the North Carolina Division of Public Health held a public meeting to update the community on the EPA emergency response activities that took place in 2011 and to discuss the proposal to list the site on the NPL.

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Future Work

The EPA is conducting the site’s remedial investigation/feasibility study. After completing it, the EPA will issue a proposed cleanup plan.

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Additional Information

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

Site Repository

Yadkin County Public Library
233 East Main St.
Yadkinville, NC 27055

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