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Wrigley Charcoal Plant

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Trash and debris at the Primary Site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: TND980844781
Location: Wrigley, Hickman County, TN
Lat/Long: 35.902500, -087.353190
Congressional District: 07
NPL Status: Proposed: 06/24/88; Final: 03/31/89
Affected Media: Debris, Ground water, Soil
Cleanup Status: Early Action Initiated/Completed – EPA is planning additional cleanup activities
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: There is insufficient data to determine migration control
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In continued use – industrial land use is located on a portion of the site; a residential area is located on another portion of the site
Site Manager: Candice Teichert (teichert.candice@epa.gov)


Current Status

The Wrigley Charcoal Plant site includes seven distinct areas affected by various industrial activities. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated debris, ground water and soil resulting from facility operations. EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. From 2009 until 2011, EPA undertook a range of additional sampling activities at the site. In 2012, EPA plans to propose a revised cleanup plan that will modify the 2003 site cleanup plan. By investigating the site, conducting cleanup activities and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA and TDEC continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The site is located northwest of Highway 100, west of Wrigley, in Hickman County, Tennessee, about 45 miles southwest of Nashville. The site includes the 35-acre Primary Site and the following six locations:

The north Fork of Mill Creek divides the Primary Site into northern and southern portions. Lands uses in the area include farms and residential areas. Residential areas include low-income and minority residents.

From 1880 to 1966, various industrial operations, including iron, charcoal and wood distillation product manufacturing took place at the Primary Site. In 1978, the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative bought the site property and began leasing a portion to the Pinewood Manufacturing Company (known as R. T. Rivers) for metals machining, storage of waste products obtained from other local industries and recovery operations of copper from transformers. Operations at the Primary Site involved wood alcohol, pig iron, tar, coke, charcoal, acetic acid, wood oils and pitch.

From 1938 to 1950, operators stored slag and soil from the Primary Site at the Athletic Field in a large ravine. Operations also disposed of waste from the Primary Site in the North Fork of Mill Creek until the mid-1940s. In the mid-1940s, operators constructed wastewater impoundments to deal with waste streams. The impoundments resulted in spills at the Storage Basin and Irrigation Field areas.

Currently, Industrial Plastics Recycling, a small-scale recycling facility, conducts metals and plastics recycling, storage of waste products, and other related activities on the southern portion of the Primary Site. The remainder of the Primary Site is not in use. The Hickman County Parks and Recreation Department owns the Athletic Field. Parties regraded and vegetated the Storage Basin and Irrigation Field. These areas are not in use. Clark Hollow is the location of a residential community.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in debris, ground water and soil that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from operations at the site. Contaminants of concern include wood tar chemicals, metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Soil contamination remains on site in the Clark Hollow, Northern Rail Yard and Groomed Pile areas. EPA cleaned up soil contamination in the in the Athletic Field, Irrigation Field and Storage Basin areas.

EPA considered children’s health issues as part of the site’s risk assessment.

EPA will assess vapor intrusion, whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings, as part of final site cleanup activities.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA leads the site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with TDEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-0: site-wide contamination; and OU-1: imminent contamination at the Primary Site.

In 1991, EPA issued an interim cleanup plan (an interim Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 1995, EPA issued an amendment to the interim cleanup plan (an amended interim ROD) to remove on-site storage of consolidated wastes from cleanup activities and added activities to restrict site access.

In 1997, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) for the site to address wood-tar hot spots that investigators found at the Primary Site.

In 2003, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-0. The plan included the following activities:

While preparing to carry out the cleanup activities required in 2003 ROD, EPA identified several more contaminated areas. As a result, EPA undertook more site investigation work. From 2009 until 2011, EPA completed a focused remedial investigation, including a private well survey and sampling of soil and sediment in Clark Hollow. EPA is currently preparing the site’s feasibility study. After completing the study, EPA will issue a proposed plan to amend the 2003 ROD. After receiving input from TDEC and the community, EPA will issue the amended plan (a ROD Amendment).

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

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Cleanup Progress

In 1988, EPA declared the site an “imminent and substantial danger”, and conducted a response action to stabilize tar pits and prevent a major release to the North Fork of Mill Creek.

In 1993, the state authorized the relocation of the downstream Bon Aqua-Lyles Water District primary water intake.

From 1993 to 1995, EPA and TDEC undertook cleanup activities required in the 1991 interim ROD to address contamination at the Primary Site and Storage Basin.

In 2007, EPA began additional monitoring in the deep aquifer beneath the site by installing four new deep monitoring wells. EPA also began collecting additional soil, waste, surface water and ground water samples.

In February 2010, EPA installed more ground water monitoring wells at the Primary Site.

In May 2010, EPA and TDEC assessed flood damage following a flood in May 2010 and did more surface water and sediment sampling.

In August 2010, EPA installed seven new ground water monitoring wells downgradient from the Primary Site.

In September 2010, EPA collected ground water samples from all wells at the site. EPA also collected surface water and sediment samples.

In October 2010, EPA and TDEC collected soil samples as part of a removal assessment.

In October 2011, EPA sampled residential wells located down gradient from the site.

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

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Enforcement Activities

TDEC has issued several notices to the recycling facility currently operating on the Primary Site.

EPA established a special account funded in part by site PRPs to fund site investigation activities.

RODs and Five-Year Reviews 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 meetings, interviews and public notices. EPA has also undertaken various sampling activities in response to citizen concerns about contamination.

EPA published public notices in The Hickman County Times before and after the completion of the 2005 and 2010 Five-Year Reviews.

EPA will hold a public meeting to announce the Agency’s plan to amend the 2003 ROD and issue a request for public comment.

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Future Work

EPA will assess vapor intrusion, whether residents or workers might be at risk from harmful ground water vapors in buildings, as part of site cleanup activities.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2010 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2015.

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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

Hickman County Public Library
120 West Swain St.
Centerville, TN 37033

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