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Site Background

The Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa site is located in Navassa, North Carolina. It includes the area where Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation operated a wood-treating plant from 1936 to 1980. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2010 because of contaminated groundwater, soil and sediment caused by facility operations. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. A water line connects residences and businesses to the public water system.

Site Location and History 

The 254-acre former facility is located in Navassa, North Carolina. The upland area of the facility is about 150 acres, owned and managed by The Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust LLC (MST), and about 90-acres of marsh became property of the State of North Carolina in the 1990s. Wood-treating operations generated wastewater that was disposed in ponds on site and wastewater discharged into the marsh on the south end of the facility. In 1980, Kerr-McGee removed equipment, buildings and storage tanks from the site and emptied on-site wastewater ponds.

Most of the contamination is located on the southwestern portion of the former facility, in the former process area and in the wetlands south of the former process area. The adjacent property, to the north, is a former fertilizer plant and boat factory. Residential properties are across North Navassa Road to the west. Sturgeon Creek borders the site to the south. Brunswick River borders the site to the east.

Site Status

EPA and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) are working with MST to investigate the Site and plan the cleanup. The Remedial Investigation will be complete in 2018. EPA and NC DEQ will propose the cleanup strategy for the former wood storage areas in 2018. The site is physically stable and vegetation protects against erosion.

Enforcement History

  • The state referred the site to EPA in 2003 and EPA entered into an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Orders on Consent with Kerr-McGee in 2004. 
  • Kerr-McGee created Tronox as a spin-off corporation in March 2006.  In 2006, EPA and Tronox entered into an Agreement to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study at the site under the Superfund Alternative Approach. EPA and Tronox completed the initial phases of a remedial investigation.
  • Tronox filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009.
  • EPA listed the site on the NPL in April 2010. 
  • The Tronox bankruptcy resulted in the creation of the Multistate Environmental Response Trust. Since 2011, the Multistate Environmental Response trust has beenconducting the remedial investigation and feasibility study activities.

Lead Agency

EPA is the lead agency on the investigation and cleanup, with the NC DEQ as the supporting agency. The cleanup and management of the property is conducted by the Multistate Trust (MST), an entity created by the Bankruptcy Settlement Agreement of Tronox LLC in 2011. By investigating and cleaning up the site, the EPA, NC DEQ and MST continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

Site Risks

The only potential risks to exposure at the site is to trespassers who contact contaminated groundwater, soil or sediment. The most contaminated areas, the former wastewater ponds and process area, are fenced off to restrict access.  

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services prepared a document entitled Public Health Assessment 2012.   For more information about health issues, please contact North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at (919) 733-5900.

Community Involvement

Community outreach activities include quarterly community meetings in Navassa. The Multistate Trust invited community stakeholders to join in a “Redevelopment Working Group” to evaluate redevelopment early in the cleanup planning process. The EPA established a site information repository at Navassa Town Hall, 334 Main St, Navassa, North Carolina.

For more information about the site please contact L’Tonya Spencer, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, on 404-562-8463 or email at

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The EPA is working with an Environmental Response Trust to investigate the Kerr-McGee Navassa Site, a former wood treating plant located on about 250 acres in Navassa, North Carolina. The Remedial Investigation was completed in 2017. The EPA, State and Trustee will propose the cleanup strategy for the wood storage areas in 2018. The site has a high potential for redevelopment. The site team began evaluating redevelopment early in the cleanup planning process.

The site is physically stable with vegetation in place to prevent erosion.

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