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Navassa Site Update Set for April 10

NAVASSA – Residents can meet one-on-one with experts and hear an update about the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. Superfund site during a public availability session and meeting Tuesday.

Contractors test for creosote contamination in Navassa. Photo: Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust

Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Multistate Environmental Response Trust, or Multistate Trust, the session and meeting will be in the Navassa Community Center, 338 Main St.

During the public availability session set for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., residents can discuss the site with representatives of EPA, DEQ and the Multistate Trust, who will be on hand to answer questions and share information.

The public meeting will follow at 6 p.m. when the federal and state officials and Multistate Trust representatives will present updates on the site and answer questions. They plan to address the following:

  • Remedial Investigation, or RI, which is a study designed to collect the necessary data to determine the nature and extent of contamination, characterize site conditions, and assess risk to human health and the environment.
  • An upcoming feasibility study, or FS, of possible remediation options. The FS is designed to identify and evaluate potential remedies to address contamination at the site, and to assess possible technologies and alternatives for their effectiveness in protecting human health and the environment.
  • The Redevelopment Planning Initiative, or RPI, for the site. The RPI is the Multistate Trust-led effort to work with citizens, community leaders and other stakeholders to identify community-supported plans for potential site reuses that protect human health and the environment and are environmentally and economically sustainable. A community visioning workshop was held Feb. 23–24, 2018, to provide a forum for citizens to help shape the future of the site.

Kerr-McGee and other companies used from 1936-74 the 245-acre site for creosote-based wood treating. By 1980, Kerr-McGee dismantled the wood-treatment buildings and facilities. In 2005, the site was conveyed to Tronox, a Kerr-McGee spinoff that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, according to the press release. In 2011, the Multistate Trust acquired the site as a court-appointed trustee as part of the Tronox bankruptcy settlement, according to the press release. The Multistate Trust is working with its beneficiaries — EPA and DEQ — on the site investigation, remediation and redevelopment planning.

The site is bounded by the Brunswick River, Sturgeon Creek, a residential area and a light industrial area. The soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated by creosote-related chemicals. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site.

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