Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: SC0001040393
Location: Charleston, Charleston County, SC
Lat/Long: 32.824157, -079.96105
Congressional District: 06
NPL Status: Superfund Alternative Approach
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface Water
Cleanup Status: A Non-Time-Critical Removal Action has been selected to address site contamination.
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Potential for Commercial/Light Industrial
Site Manager: Ken Mallary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Columbia Nitrogen site occupies approximately 43 acres on the Ashley River in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina. From 1905 until 1972, the site was used for phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. The production of phosphate fertilizer at the site involved reacting phosphate ore with sulfuric acid to produce phosphoric acid, the building block of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) agricultural fertilizers. Sulfuric acid was produced at the site and stored in lead-insulated chambers.
The site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), but is considered to be an NPL-caliber site and is being addressed through the Superfund Alternative Approach. This approach uses the same investigation and cleanup process and standards that are used for sites listed on the NPL.
Environmental impacts associated with former phosphate fertilizer manufacturing at the site include elevated levels of metals, particularly lead and arsenic in soil, ground water, and sediment, as well as acidic pH conditions.
Site Cleanup Plan
In 2005, EPA signed an Action Memorandum, which authorizes the use of a Non-Time-Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) at the site, and provides a description of the preferred alternatives selected to address the site-related contamination.
Beginning in May 1999, EPA conducted a fund-lead remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the site. Analytical results from the RI/FS confirmed the presence of lead and arsenic contamination in surface and subsurface soil, ground water, surface water, and sediment.
In 2004, Ashley II Inc., the current property owner, conducted additional sampling activities at the site, which further characterized the lead and arsenic contamination in soil.
In fall 2006, EPA provided a mediator to facilitate ongoing litigation between the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and Ashley II Inc. regarding past costs, as well as the estimated cost of $7,883,132 for the NTCRA. Due to the ongoing litigation, the design for the NTCRA has been put on hold and a schedule for the initiation of the NTCRA has not been determined.
EPA has conducted a range of community involvement activities at the Columbia Nitrogen site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process.
Remedy design and a schedule for initiation of the NTCRA will be determined once cost litigation between PRPs and the current site owner has been completed.
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.
Charleston County Public Library
68 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29301
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.