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Officials To Discuss Cleanup, Sale Update For Navassa Superfund Site

By Staff Reports, posted Dec 6, 2023
A map shows the location and shape of the Kerr McGee Chemical Corp.-Navassa Superfund Site. (Courtesy of Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust)
State and local officials will discuss updates Thursday on the cleanup and sale of an anticipated redevelopment site in Navassa.

The property, known as the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp.-Navassa Superfund Site, received Superfund status in 2010 because of groundwater, soil and sediment contamination by creosote-related chemicals from Kerr-McGee's wood treatment activities and that of its predecessors.

According to a news release, the Multistate Environmental Response Trust, EPA and N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) are holding a community meeting and drop-in information session Thursday to discuss the cleanup of contaminated soil soon to begin on the property. 

Officials say site contamination does not currently threaten people living or working near the Superfund Site.

"The cleanup of contaminated surface soil at the ±16-acre Operable Unit 2 (OU2) area and hiring and training opportunities for local individuals and businesses to perform the work will be among several discussion topics," the release stated. "The meeting will also serve as the EPA Remedial Action kickoff meeting. Updates will also be shared on the upcoming sale of ±87 acres owned by the Multistate Trust."

The trust previously sought bids for the 87 acres, having issued an invitation to submit those bids by Nov. 30. "Located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, it is one of the largest properties available for sale and development near Wilmington," the invitation stated.

Thursday's community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Navassa Community Center, 338 Main St., in Navassa, which will also be available to view via Zoom or phone. A drop-in session from 7 to 8 p.m. will be for those attending in person only. Information on how to use the virtual options is available online.

From 1936 to 1974, Kerr-McGee and its predecessors used creosote to treat wood for railroad ties, utility poles and pilings, according to the release. The wood treating facility operated on approximately 70 acres of the 246-acre former Kerr-McGee property along the Brunswick River at Sturgeon Creek.

"In 1980, Kerr-McGee decommissioned and dismantled the wood-treatment buildings and facilities," the release stated. "In 2011, the Multistate Trust acquired about 152 acres of the former Kerr-McGee property as a court-appointed trustee selected to own, manage and remediate the site and facilitate safe, beneficial site reuse, as part of the Tronox bankruptcy settlement. In 2016, the Multistate Trust purchased an additional two acres."
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