American Creosote Works (Jackson Plant)
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: TND007018799
Location: Jackson, Madison County, TN
Lat/Long: 35.610000, -088.835500
Congressional District: 08
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/15/84; Final: 06/10/86
Affected Media: Buildings/Structures, Liquid Waste, Sludge, Soil, Groundwater
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - soil cleanup activities have been completed
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Currently being used for equipment storage
Site Manager: Rachel McCullough (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The American Creosote Works (Jackson Plant) site is located immediately southwest of downtown Jackson, Tennessee. The site covers 60 acres, which includes numerous swales, lagoons and other low lying areas. The site is bounded on the south by the Seaboard Railroad, on the southwest by the South Fork of the Forked Deer River, on the west and north by Central Creek, and on the east by an industrial yard. Wetlands lying along both sides of the river support a large variety of wildlife. Land in the area of the site is primarily used for industrial, commercial, and residential purposes.
A wood treatment plant operated at the site from the early 1930s until late 1981 when the operator filed for bankruptcy. The plant used creosote and pentachlorophenol to preserve wood. Workers discharged untreated process wastewater directly to the South Fork of the Forked Deer River until 1973, when a levee was built around the facility to contain wastewater and surface water runoff. In 1974, the plant installed a wastewater treatment system. The pits created during construction of the levee were used to store treated process water and derivative sludges which often overflowed into the main process area and the river during heavy rains and flooding.
Several public and private wells are located within a 3-mile radius including a city well field which lies less than 2 miles east of the site.
Ground water underlying the facility, on-site soils, surface water and sediments were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals from the wood-treating process.
Site Cleanup Plan
Site cleanup was addressed as two Operable Units (OUs). The OU-1 cleanup focused on protecting surface water, discouraging trespassing and preventing accidental exposure to contaminated soil. The OU-2 cleanup focused on contaminated soil cleanup and the monitoring of ground water, surface water, and sediment.
The Record of Decision (ROD), describing the cleanup for OU-1, was issued in 1989. Major components of the cleanup included:
- Deed restrictions limiting further use of the site.
- Construction of a flood protection dike around the site and site stabilization.
- Removal and disposal of tanked liquids and sludges.
- Removal and disposal of site structures.
- Installation of security fencing around the site.
The ROD describing the cleanup for OU-2 was issued in 1989. Major components of the approach included:
- Removal and off-site disposal of liquid waste.
- Solidification/stabilization (S/S) of contaminated soil and sludges.
- Land use restrictions.
- Monitoring of the contaminated soil/sludges immobilized on site (i.e., treated through S/S).
- Monitoring the effectiveness of natural attenuation of the remaining contaminants in the ground water, the surface waters, and sediments.
In 1983, EPA led an emergency removal action at the site to treat and dispose of wastewater from the site, and to remove, treat and bury sludge under a clay cap in a former lagoon area of the property.
Cleanup actions required in the 1989 OU-1 ROD took place primarily between 1989 and 1991. The site’s flood protection levee was constructed and functional by early 1989. It was upgraded for improved effectiveness in 1990. Tanked liquids and sludge were accumulated, treated on site, and finally incinerated off site. Several site structures, including buildings, tanks, railroad lines, railroad ties, and other plant equipment that presented immediate hazards were demolished, dismantled, and/or salvaged. A chain link security fence was installed around the site in 1991.
Cleanup actions required in the 1996 OU-2 ROD began in 1999. These included the following:
- Several site structures were demolished and removed from the site or dismantled, treated, and buried on site.
- Creosote and water were drained from the soil and disposed of at an EPA-approved off-site location.
- Contaminated soil was excavated and treated with cement, carbon, and fly ash before being back-filled and compacted.
- Buried materials were covered with a geosynthetic clay liner and capped with 24 inches of clean soil.
- Site grading and seeding with grass.
The site became available for re-use after the OU-2 cleanup. The property was acquired for industrial activities in 2004 by the Jackson Energy Authority.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) visits the site periodically and works closely with property owners when physical changes are made to the site. TDEC also performs ground water monitoring at the site.
According to the 2009 Five-Year Review (FYR), the site’s cleanup is currently protective of human health and the environment because surface water and contaminated ground water are not being used for drinking purposes, and contaminated surface soils were excavated, treated, and capped appropriately. Institutional controls and zoning are in place to restrict the site to industrial uses, prevent activities that would compromise the cleanup approach, and prevent installation of ground water wells.
Site cleanup activities are being led primarily by TDEC with oversight by EPA.
TDEC undertook enforcement actions at the site starting in 1981.
EPA and TDEC have conducted a range of community involvement activities at the American Creosote Works (Jackson Plant) site to solicit community input and to ensure that the public remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup process. Outreach activities have included public notices and information meetings on cleanup progress.
Contaminated ground water monitoring is ongoing. The ground water monitoring data shows creosote and pentachlorophenol contamination impacting Central Creek and the South Fork of the Forked Deer River. EPA and TDEC are currently performing additional groundwater investigations to assess the extent of the groundwater contamination and evaluate options for addressing it. EPA will present remedial alternatives to the public for addressing the groundwater contamination and solicit input on the proposed plan. Once selected, EPA will implement the remedial alternative to address the groundwater.
The next FYR for this site is due by 2014.
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.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
1625 Hollywood Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.