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Wamchem, Inc.


Site office and ground water pump and treat scrubbing towers at the Wamchem Site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: SCD037405362
Location: Beaufort, Beaufort County, SC
Lat/Long: 32.497210, -80.741660
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 09/08/83; Final: 09/21/84
Affected Media: Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - physical cleanup activities have been completed
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Michael Townsend (townsend.michael@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Wamchem, Inc. site includes an area where a facility produced dye products from the 1950s to 1982. The EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984 because of contaminated ground water and soil from facility operations and waste handling practices. The EPA, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and Springs Industries, 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. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By treating and monitoring ground water and conducting required Five-Year Reviews, the EPA, SCDHEC and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 25-acre site is located in a rural area just north of Beaufort in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The facility on site produced dye products from the 1950s to 1982. A residential property borders the site to the north. The Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort borders the site to the south. A salt marsh and McCalley’s Creek border the site to the east. U.S. Highway 21 borders the site to the west. McCalley’s Creek is used for recreational fishing and commercial shellfish harvesting. In 1984, the EPA listed the site on the NPL. The site is not in use.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from operations and waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include acetone, benzene, chlorobenzene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, naphthalene, toluene, 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene and xylene.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

Springs Industries, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by the EPA and SCDHEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1988, the EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD and Five-Year Reviews.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1993, the PRP treated about 1,800 tons of contaminated soil on site. The PRP also conducted follow-up sampling to confirm that the treated soil met cleanup goals.

In 1996, the PRP put in a five-well ground water pump-and-treat system. Ground water treatment is ongoing.

The site’s third Five-Year Review, completed in 2009, found that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.

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

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Enforcement Activities

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

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Community Involvement

The 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.

The 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 and information meetings.

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Future Work

The site’s ground water pump-and-treat system continues to operate.

The PRP continues to conduct annual ground water monitoring at the site.

The EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2009. The EPA plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2014.

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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 EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Beaufort County Library
311 Scott St.
Beaufort, SC 29902

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