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Weyerhaeuser Company Plymouth Wood Treating Plant

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: NCD991278540
Location: Plymouth, Martin County, NC
Lat/Long: 35.674485, -076.785495
Congressional District: 01
NPL Status: Superfund Alternative Site
Affected Media: Fish tissue, Ground water, Sediment, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction finished.  Long term monitoring will continue. 
Human Exposure Under Control: NA
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: NA
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued industrial use – a manufacturing facility is located on site
Site Manager: Randy Bryant (bryant.randy@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Weyerhaeuser Company Plymouth Wood Treating Plant site includes the area where a wood and paper products manufacturing facility began operations in 1937. EPA did not list the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing it through the Superfund Alternative Approach. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and Domtar Corporation, the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. By monitoring ground water, sampling fish tissue, placing institutional controls on the site property and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 2,400-acre site is located 1.5 miles west of Plymouth in Martin County, North Carolina. The site includes an active wood and paper products manufacturing facility. Welch Creek is located on the eastern portion of the site. Facility parking areas, green space and wastewater settling ponds are located along the bank of Welch Creek. The Landfill No.1 area covers 82 acres of the site. Forest and residential areas with low-income and minority residents surround the site.

In 1937, Kieckhefer-Eddy Company began operations at the site. The Weyerhaeuser Company managed operations at the site from 1957 until 2007. Currently, Domtar Corporation owns and operates the facility.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, sediment, soil, surface water and fish tissue that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from facility operations at the site. Contaminants of concern vary between operable units, but include dioxin and metals.

Ground water contamination is contained within the site boundary. The State of North Carolina placed a fish consumption advisory on Welch Creek and the Lower Roanoke River until 2001; it remains in place for catfish and carp. A fish consumption advisory for mercury in all state waters also remains in effect.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Domtar Corporation, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on four areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: Landfill No. 1 Area; OU-2: Lower Roanoke River; OU-3: Former Chlorine Plant Area; and OU-4: Welch Creek Area.

In 2002, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included the following activities:

In 2008, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. The plan included the following activities:

In 2003, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-3. The plan included the following activities:

In 2007, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-4. The plan included the following activities:

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

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Cleanup Progress

The site’s PRP completed construction of the 82-acre cover over the surface of Landfill No. 1 in 2005.

The PRP conducted cleanup activities for OU-3 during 2006, including digging up and disposing of limited amounts of contaminated soil in an existing on-site landfill, and containing and capping the remaining contaminated soil. 

In 2012  the PRP finished the placement of a thin layer sand cap over one mile of the creek bottom (OU-4).  Long term activities will include monitoring of surface water, fish tissue and the cap.

The site’s first Five-Year Review, completed in 2010, found that the cleanup for OU-1 and OU-3 remains protective of human health and the environment.

The PRP began the required monitoring activities for OU-2 in 2012.

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

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRP to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

The RODs and Five-Year Review online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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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

Ground water, soil, sediment and fish tissue monitoring are ongoing.

EPA completed the site’s first Five-Year Review in 2010 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2015.

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Additinal 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

Washington County Public Library
201 E. 3rd Street
Plymouth, NC 27962-1319

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