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Ward Transformer


Ward Transformer October 2009.

Ward Transformer Before Remediation.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD003202603
Location: Raleigh, Wake County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.901940, -078.773610
Congressional District: 13
NPL Status: Proposed: 09/05/02; Final: 04/30/03
Affected Media: Fish Tissue, Sediment, Soil
Cleanup Status: Early Action Initiated/Completed and Remedy Selected – Physical cleanup activities have started.
Human Exposure Under Control: No
Groundwater Migration Under Control: There is insufficient data to determine
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None - potential for commercial/light Industrial
Site Manager: Hilary Thornton (thornton.hilary@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Ward Transformer site includes an area where Ward Transformer Company operated a facility that handled transformers, switchgear and other types of electrical equipment from 1964 to 2006. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2003 because of contaminated fish tissue, sediment and soil resulting from facility operations. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are investigating site conditions and taking steps to clean up the site to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By investigating the site, conducting cleanup activities and placing institutional controls on the site property, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Site Location and Background

The 11-acre site is in an industrial area of Raleigh, North Carolina, just north of Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Although the site does not include any creeks or streams (referred to as “reaches” below), contamination has affected several bodies of water southwest of the site, including creeks, streams and Lake Crabtree. Forested land and an interstate highway border the site to the north and west. A truck transfer facility and Raleigh-Durham International Airport runway border the site to the south. Light industrial businesses border the site to the east. Ward Transformer Company built a facility at the site in 1964 and operated it until 2006. During its operation, the facility manufactured, repaired, reconditioned, rebuilt, purchased and sold transformers, switchgear and other types of electrical equipment. In 2003, EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is not in use. Fencing surrounds the site.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations identified contamination in fish tissue, sediment and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from facility operations at the site.  Contaminants of concern identified include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The site’s PRPs are working to address soil contamination at the site and surrounding properties. Removal of soil contamination will address the source of contamination contributing to fish tissue and sediment contamination downstream from the site. 

Fencing controls access to the site.

The site’s PRPs placed institutional controls on the site property to restrict activities that would disturb the site’s soil and to limit future use of the site to commercial and industrial uses.

Fish consumption advisories currently in effect for the water bodies related to the site include:



North Carolina

Fish Consumption Adivisory

Brier Creek Reservoir

Little Brier Creek (downstream of Brier Creek Pathway)

Tributaries to Little Brier Creek

Do Not Eat Fish
Brier Creek
Do Not Eat Fish
Lake Crabtree
Do not eat carp or catfish. Limit consumption of all other fish to no more that one meal per month
Crabtree Creek (above Lake Cabtree and below Lake Cabtree to where it enters the Neuse River)
Limit consumption of carp, catfish, and largemouth bass to no more than one meal per month

Learn more about these advisories. Exit Disclaimer

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The site’s PRPs lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities focus on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: contamination downstream from the site in Reaches B, C and D, Brier Creek Reservoir, Lake Crabtree, and Lower Crabtree Creek; and OU-2: contamination at the site, surrounding properties and nearby drainage paths uphill from Reach B.

In 2006, EPA authorized short-term cleanup actions to stop immediate threats. See “Cleanup Progress” for more information.

In 2008, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) to address remaining site contamination for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

EPA is conducting a feasibility study for remaining contamination in OU-2. Following the completion of the short-term cleanup actions, EPA will issue a ROD for OU-2.

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

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Cleanup Progress

As part of short-term cleanup actions, the PRPs have addressed over 420,000 tons of PCB-contaminated material. The PRPs are also conducting ecological restoration activities in the western portion of the site where the uppermost reaches of Little Briar Creek leave the facility area.  

The site’s PRPs placed institutional controls on the site property to restrict activities that would disturb the site’s soil and to limit future use of the site to commercial and industrial uses.

In 2012, the site’s PRPs began the remedial design for OU-1.

EPA is conducting a feasibility study for OU-2.

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Enforcement Activities

In 2004 and 2005, EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRPs to conduct the short-term cleanup actions.

From 2008 to 2012, EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRPs to conduct the remedial design/remedial action for OU-1. The PRPs continue to fund remedial design and cleanup activities.

The ROD online provides information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

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.

EPA is conducting 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, fact sheets, interviews and public meetings. EPA has also issued a Technical Assistant Grant (TAG) for the site. The TAG Coordinator provides updates on progress at the site and technical assistance to the local community.

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Future Work

The site’s PRPs continue to conduct the short-term cleanup and ecological restoration activities at the site.

The remedial design for OU-1 is ongoing.

A feasibility study for OU-2 is underway.

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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

North Regional Library
7009 Harps Mill Road
Raleigh, NC  27605

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