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How many Superfund sites and Brownfields are in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties?

Adam Wagner

The Cape Fear region is dotted with contamination sites.

The short answer to this question is Brunswick has a pair of Brownfields and a pair of Superfund sites; New Hanover has a dozen Brownfields and a trio of Superfund sites; and Pender has two Brownfields.

Here’s the longer answer.

Superfund sites are those where the Environmental Protection Agency takes action to remediate the immediate effects of environmental contamination and also, at some sites, handles long-term effects.

In Brunswick County, there are a pair of Superfund sites. EPA teams are continuing to work on the well-known Kerr-McGee creosote plant in Navassa. Additionally, teams have conducted remediation efforts at the Potter’s Septic Tank Service Pits site in Sandy Creek just off U.S. 74, a site that continues to undergo groundwater monitoring and five-year reviews.

The Reasor Chemical Company site in Castle Hayne is one of New Hanover County’s trio of Superfund sites. Located near the corner of N.C. 132 and Kings Castle Road, the site was used as a pine tree stump processing facility for the creation of turpentine from 1959 to 1972, according to EPA records. The EPA has taken steps to remediate the environmental factors and connected neighbors to the public water supply. It is illegal to build wells on the property, and teams removed contaminated soil and water from the site. The EPA will complete its second five-year review at the site in 2017.

The EPA is continuing work on the 42-acre Horton Iron and Metal site at 2216 U.S. 421 North, That site is listed on the agency’s National Priorities list as the result of contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater from the site’s use as a fertilizing manufacturing plant in the early 1900s and a ship breaking site in the post-World War II years. While the Flemington neighborhood and other industry is nearby, the EPA has conducted tests indicating there are not any threats to wells on the site. The EPA and N.C. DEQ are working on the remedial investigation and feasibility, according to the EPA’s Superfund site.

The New Hanover County Airport’s Burn Pit on Gardner Drive is a 4-acre site on the edge of the Wilmington International Airport’s property. From 1968 until 1979, it was used as a firefighter training area, resulting in contaminated sludge forming from the petroleum, jet fuel and other substances that were being used in exercises. Soil contamination remediation has been conducted, and ground water monitoring has been conducted. The site can, according to the EPA, be used for commercial and light industrial uses.

Pender does not have any Superfund sites.

For a searchable list of Superfund sites, go to this web page: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live.

Pender County does have a pair of Brownfields sites: The BASF Pender County project at 110 Vitamin Drive and the former Prestige Label site at 151 Industrial Drive in Burgaw.

Brunswick County has a pair of Brownfields sites: The former site of General Wood, 1901 Treatment Road; and the 91.37-acre Carolina Creosoting Company site, from which the EPA removed more than 8,000 tons of contaminated soil and sludge and more than 25,500 gallons of contaminated liquid in the early 1990s.

New Hanover County has a dozen Brownfields sites, more than half of which are concentrated around the Cape Fear River. Those sites include Allen Farm Supply, North Third Street; the Water Street Deck, 200 N. Water St.; parts of Battleship Road that have been designated for residential development; the Wilmington Convention Center site; the site of Sawmill Point Apartments; PPD headquarters; and large chunks of the site that is home to PPD Marina and the future home of the North Waterfront Park.

Elsewhere in New Hanover, sites include the WSFX site at 1926 Oleander Drive; a .77-acre site that spans 2501 to 2509 Wrightsville Ave.; a 3.87-acre site at 4022 Market St. that was used as a fertilizer distributor and yacht manufacturing facility; the Cape Fear Regional Soccerplex, 205 Sutton Steam Plant Road, that is the former site of the Flemington Landfill; and a site at 2021 Garner Road.

For a map showing the location of all Brownfields sites and documents pertaining to their Brownfields status, visit: http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/waste-management-rules-data/waste-management-gis-maps/brownfields-sites-and-boundaries.

User-contributed question by:
Ed McCaffray

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