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Navassa Site Update Slated for March 23

Traffic passes by the fenced-off Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. site that’s just off the highway leading into Navassa. File photo: Mark Hibbs

Navassa residents and stakeholders can hear on March 23 progress and plans for this year during two community update meetings about the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. – Navassa Superfund site.

State and federal officials and Multistate Trust representatives will give the same 30-minute presentation at the start of the two online meetings. In addition to hearing work progress, other topics will include Operable Unit 1 update, recent and upcoming sampling activities,  utility line construction, and property conveyance process.

The first meeting will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 23. Call 1-301-715-8592. Enter meeting ID no. 946 584 8922# and passcode 664564#. To join the meeting online use this link or type https://tinyurl.com/NavassaMeeting into your browser.

The second meeting will be 6:30- 8 p.m. March 23. Call 1-301-715-8592 and enter meeting ID# 946 584 8922# and passcode 664564#. To join online  Click to join the meeting or use https://tinyurl.com/NavassaMeeting.

EPA released a proposed plan for the 21.6 acres called Operable Unit 1. In 2020, after receiving additional input from Navassa, EPA and NCDEQ decided to evaluate Operable Unit 1 for unrestricted residential land use. Additional sampling was conducted in August 2020 to evaluate risks based on unrestricted residential land use, according to the 2020 fourth quarter update. EPA plans to issue a new OU1 Proposed Plan this year to replace the 2019 Proposed Plan and address a smaller, 20.2-acre OU1 area.

From 1936 to 1974, Kerr-McGee and other companies used 70 acres of the 246-acre former Kerr-McGee property for creosote-based wood treating. The property is bordered 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, according to the state.

The site was conveyed to Tronox in 2005, a Kerr-McGee spinoff that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. In 2011, the acquired about 152 acres, two more acres were purchased later, of the former Kerr-McGee Property as a court-appointed trustee as part of the Tronox bankruptcy settlement. The Multistate Trust is working with its beneficiaries, NCDEQ and EPA, on the site investigation, remediation and redevelopment planning.

For more information, visit the EPA website at:www.epa.gov/superfund/kerr-mcgee-chemical-corp or the Multistate Trust website at http://multi-trust.org/navassa-north-carolina.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.