Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY (LOT 86, FARM UNIT #1)
RALEIGH, NC

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The North Carolina State University (Lot 86 Farm Unit #1) site is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It includes an area where North Carolina State University (NCSU) disposed of wastes from science laboratories and agricultural research facilities from 1969 to 1980. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 because of contaminated groundwater and soil resulting from waste handling practices.

EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and NCSU, 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. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. By treating and monitoring groundwater, 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.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The 1.5-acre site is located on the NCSU campus in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. The State of North Carolina owns the site and surrounding properties. Forested areas and the Wade Avenue extension border the site to the north. Trinity Road and a sports practice facility border the site to the south. A forested area borders the site to the east. A parking lot for Carter-Finley Stadium and sports arenas borders the site to the west.

From 1969 to 1980, NCSU science laboratories and agricultural research facilities disposed of wastes at the site. Disposal activities placed wastes in containers and buried the containers in 10-foot trenches on site. In 1986, EPA listed the site on the NPL. A solar energy project is currently located on a portion of the site. Fencing surrounds the site and controls access.

  • The site’s PRP leads site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.
  • The site’s PRP completed soil cleanup activities in 1999.
  • The PRP completed construction of the groundwater extraction and treatment system in 2006. The PRP continues to treat and monitor contaminated groundwater.
  • EPA has conducted several Five-Year Reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The most recent review concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Continued protectiveness of the remedy requires documenting the site’s institutional controls, now in place, and the site’s updated cleanup goals.
  • EPA plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2018.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The most recent Five Year Review was published by EPA HQs in 2018. The remedy at the Site currently protects human health and the environment because contaminated soils were remediated through stabilization/solidification, groundwater contamination has been contained through extraction, treatment and discharge to the City sewer, and institutional controls are in place restricting access to contaminated groundwater and soils. 

In 1996, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included treating and encapsulating contaminated soils; extracting contaminated groundwater; treating contaminated groundwater on site using air stripping or carbon adsorption; and discharging treated groundwater to surface water or a local publicly owned treatment works.

The last Five Year Review was conducted in 2013, and documented that the Site was still protective of human health and the environment.

The PRP continues to treat and monitor contaminated groundwater.

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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.

EPA uses institutional controls to reduce exposure to contamination by restricting access to contaminated areas. Institutional controls can also guide human behavior through legal mechanisms such as deed restrictions and public health warning signs.

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