Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

WEYERHAEUSER CO PLYMOUTH WOOD TRTNG PT
PLYMOUTH, NC

Cleanup Activities

On this page:

On related pages:


Background

The 2,400-acre site is located 1.5 miles west of Plymouth in Martin County, North Carolina. The site includes an active fluff pulp manufacturing facility. Welch Creek is located on the eastern portion of the site. Facility parking areas, green space and wastewater settling ponds are located along the bank of Welch Creek. The Landfill No.1 area covers 82 acres of the site. Forest, wetlands, and the Roanoke River are present around the Site with some residences nearby. In 1937, Kieckhefer-Eddy Company began operations at the site. The Weyerhaeuser Company managed operations at the site from 1957 until 2007. Currently, Domtar Corporation owns and operates the facility. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not list the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing it through the Superfund Alternative Approach.

Top of Page


What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on four areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: Landfill No. 1 Area; OU-2: Lower Roanoke River; OU-3: Former Chlorine Plant Area; and OU-4: Welch Creek Area.

  • In 2002, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1. The plan included installing a cap over the surface of Landfill No. 1, monitored natural attenuation to address soil contamination in wetlands, and placing institutional controls on the site property to limit ground water use.
  • In 2003, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-3. The plan included constructing a barrier wall containment system for contaminated soils, digging up a limited amount of contaminated soils, constructing a surface cap containment system over remaining contaminated soils, monitoring ground water, and placing institutional controls on the OU3 area to limit land and ground water use.
  • In 2007, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-4. The plan included the installation of a thin layer sand cap ("enhanced natural attenuation") to address contaminated sediment in Welch Creek, long term monitoring, periodic inspections of the capped area, continuation of an existing fish consumption advisory, and deed restrictions on the site property to limit development that could affect the remedy.
  • In 2008, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a ROD) for OU-2. The plan included monitored natural recovery to address contamination in surface water, sediment and fish tissue, continuation of an existing fish consumption advisory, and long term monitoring.

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

  • The site’s PRP completed construction of the 82-acre cover over the surface of Landfill No. 1 in 2005.
  • The PRP conducted cleanup activities for OU-3 during 2006, including digging up and disposing of limited amounts of contaminated soil in an existing on-site landfill, and containing and capping the remaining contaminated soil.
  • In 2012, the PRP finished the placement of a thin layer sand cap over one mile of the creek bottom (OU-4).  Long term activities will include monitoring of surface water, fish tissue and the cap.
  • The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2015, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. The next Five-Year Review should be completed in 2020.
  • Ground water, soil, sediment and fish tissue monitoring are ongoing.
  • Deed restrictions are in place to prohibit the use of impacted groundwater and to prohibit disturbance of the capped areas at the Site.

Top of Page


What Is the Current Site Status?

The most recent Five Year Review was published by EPA HQs in 2015. The selected remedies currently protects human health and the environment because exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks have been addressed.

The Weyerhaeuser Company Plymouth Wood Treating Plant site includes the area where a wood and paper products manufacturing facility began operations in 1937. EPA did not list the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) but considers it an NPL-caliber site and is addressing it through the Superfund Alternative Approach. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) and Domtar Corporation, the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. By monitoring ground water, sampling fish tissue, placing institutional controls on the site property and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRP continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination. Domtar Corporation, the site’s PRP, leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

The site’s second Five-Year Review, completed in 2015, found that the cleanup remains protective of human health and the environment. The next Five-Year Review should be completed in 2020. The Site is classified as Construction Complete under the Superfund program.

Top of Page


Enforcement Information

 

Enforcing environmental laws is a central part of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. When warranted, EPA will take civil or criminal enforcement action against violators of environmental laws.

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRP to investigate and clean up the site. The PRP continues to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

Top of Page