NORTH CHARLESTON, SC
On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Activity and Use Limitations
- Enforcement Information
On related pages:
The site is located at 1800 Pittsburgh Avenue on a section of the Charleston Peninsula formed by the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers in Charleston, South Carolina. A tidal creek and marsh along Shipyard Creek border the site to the north and east, industrial and commercial land uses border the site to the south, and a CSX rail line borders the site to the west. Union Heights, a neighborhood with low-income and minority residents, is located just west of the site, past a CSX rail line.
From 1941 to 1998, a ferrochromium alloy smelting plant operated at the site. Plant operations included separating metal content from its ore using furnaces. Pittsburgh Metallurgical Company operated the plant from 1941 to 1966; Airco (British Oxygen Corporation) operated the plant from 1966 to 1979; and Macalloy Corporation operated the plant from 1979 to 1998. The Department of Defense has owned, operated or used areas of the site to produce and store ferrochromium alloy, chrome ore and slag since 1942. Operations at the site also collected about 80,000 tons of air pollution control material, consisting of collected particulate dust and sludge, in an unlined surface reservoir on site. The plant discharged process water off site to the Shipyard Creek and a wetlands area.
In 2000, EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL). In 2005, Ashley II of Charleston, LLC purchased the site and developed approximately 30 acres on the southern portion of the site into an industrial park. Approximately 110 acres on the norther portion of the site remains undeveloped and covered with trees and shrubs. The site's cleanup can support industrial land uses.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In June 1998, Macalloy and EPA entered into a Removal Action Administrative Order on Consent to address potential releases via storm water runoff of hazardous substances from the Macalloy plant to Shipyard Creek. Macalloy constructed a storm water management system consiting of a series of earthen berms, ditches and detention basins that collected onsite and offsite surface water. Two outfalls discharged storm water from the site to Shipyard Creek.
In 2000, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List (NPL). In August 2002, EPA issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the cleanup of radiological material and contaminated soil, groundwater, storm water and sediment at the site. The remedy components specified in the ROD are summarized below.
|Environmental Media||Remedy Component Description|
|Radiological Material||Excavation and Off-site Disposal|
|Soil||On-site Chemical Reduction|
|Groundwater||Enhanced In Situ Chemical Reduction|
|Surface Water / Storm Water||Comprehensive Storm Water Management System|
|Multi-media||Institutional controls and restrictive covenants to limit land use to commercial/industrial purposes, and prohibit the use of groundwater underlying the property.|
From 2004 to 2006, the PRPs conducted the ROD-specified remedial actions. In November 2006, EPA recognized the site as the Superfund program’s 1,000th Construction Completion at a celebration held at the site. In 2008, the PRPs completed surface water sampling.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The most recent Five Year Review was published by EPA HQs in 2015. The remedy at the Site currently protects human health and the environment in the short-term.
Annual groundwater monitoring is ongoing. EPA plans to complete the third Five-Year Review in 2020.
Activity and Use Limitations
At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.
For more background, see Institutional Controls.
In May 2006, institutional controls and restrictive covenants were executed to limit future use to commercial/industrial purposes and prohibit the use of groundwater underlying the property.
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 Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) to investigate and clean up the site. The three agreements include:
- 1998 Administrative Order on Consent for Removal Action;
- 2000 Administrative Order on Consent for Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study; and
- 2004 Remedial Action Consent Decree.