Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

ABERDEEN PESTICIDE DUMPS
ABERDEEN, NC

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 37-acre Aberdeen Pesticide Dumps site is located in Moore County, North Carolina. It includes five separate areas impacted by industrial formulation and blending of pesticides and related waste disposal practices. EPA placed the site on the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 because of contaminated debris, groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water resulting from facility operations.

EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs), investigated site conditions and took 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 nearby. By treating and monitoring groundwater, placing institutional controls on the site property and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, NCDENR and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination. NCDENR is now called North Carolina Department of Environment Quality (NCDEQ).

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Bayer Corp., E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., Syngenta (formerly known as Ciba Geigy Corp. and then Novartis Crop Protection Inc.), Olin Corp., Shell Oil Co. and Union Carbide Corp., the site’s PRPs, lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and NCDENR.

The site was placed on the NPL because of contaminated debris, groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water resulting from pesticide manufacturing operations and/or disposal practices. The EPA, the NCDENR, and the PRPs investigated site conditions and took steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination.

  • Between 1985 and 1989, EPA conducted cleanup activities at four of the site areas. EPA removed contaminated soil and either stockpiled at the F6 Area or took it off site for disposal.
  • In 1996, the site’s PRPs demolished 12 buildings at the Farm Chemicals Area. The PRPs used low-level heat to drive contamination from over 123,000 tons of contaminated soil from 1997 to 1998.
  • The PRPs completed cleanup construction at the R211 and MD Areas in 1997 and 2000, respectively. EPA and the PRPs finalized the groundwater cleanup plan design for the FC, TS and F6 areas in 1998.
  • Sampling of sediment, surface water and fish tissue from Page’s Lake in 2004 confirmed that site-related contaminant levels in the lake did not pose a threat to people.
  • In 2003, EPA issued the site’s Preliminary Close-Out Report, documenting the completion of all remedy construction activities. The PRPs placed institutional controls on the Farm Chemicals Area to restrict land uses.
  • Prior to 2008, the PRPs conducted groundwater sampling at the FC, TS and F6 areas on an annual basis. Since 2008, the PRPs sample and analyze groundwater at the F6 Area every five years as part of the Five-Year Review process. The PRPs sample and analyze groundwater at the FC and TS areas every other year.
  • The site’s first Five-Year Review, completed in 2008, recommended development of a plan describing the approach for placing restrictive covenants, well drilling ordinances and institutional controls on properties affected by site contamination to prevent the installation of drinking water wells.
  • EPA, with the assistance of NCDENR, completed the second Five-Year Review Report in September 2013. It concluded that response actions to date are protective in the short term. For site remedies to be protective in the long term, an Explanation of Significant Difference is needed to revise the cleanup level for delta-BHC in the OU-5 ROD to be protective of human health.
  • No issues were identified in the site's third Five-Year Review. EPA plans to conduct another review in 2023.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The most recent Five Year Review was published by EPA HQs in 2018. Currently the Aberdeen Pesticide Dump Site is protective of human health and the environment in the short-term.

EPA divided the site, located in/and near Aberdeen, Moore County, North Carolina, into four ongoing operable units (OUs): OU1 and OU4, which address soil at all five areas; OU2, renamed as OU4; OU3, groundwater at the TS, F6 and FC Areas; and OU5, groundwater at the R211 Area, and groundwater, surface water and sediment at the MD Area.

1.      The Farm Chemicals Area (FC Area),
2.      The Twin Sites Area (TS Area),
3.      The Fairway Six Area (F6 Area),
4.      The McIver Dump Area (MC Area), and
5.      The Route 211 Area (R211 Area).

The site includes an area where a pesticide formulation plant operated (the Farm Chemicals Area) and four areas where disposal of wastes from the manufacturing process occurred. In 1989, the EPA listed the site on the NPL.

  • The 4-acre FC Area is located on the south side of North Carolina (N.C.) State Highway 5 (Pinehurst Road), about 0.5 miles west of the road’s intersection with U.S. Highway 1. The FC Area borders the western edge of Aberdeen. Commercial and light industrial properties border the FC Area to the south and west. Residential properties border the FC Area to the east; the nearest residence is approximately 200 feet away. Page's Lake is approximately 650 feet downhill from the FC Area. People use the lake for fishing and general recreation.
  • From 1930 until 1987, a pesticide formulation plant operated at the FC Area. The PRPs demolished the facility in 1997 as part of the Site cleanup. In 2004, part of the FC Area was redeveloped as a commercial mini-storage warehouse facility. An industrial and construction supply store and a coffee roaster also operate on the FC Area.
  • The four disposal areas include: the 22-acre TS Area is located north of N.C. State Highway 5, directly across from the FC Area. The TS Area includes three sub-areas: Disposal Areas A, B and C. Woods border the TS Area to the east; Page’s Lake borders the TS Area to the north; N.C. State Highway 5 and a Norfolk Southern rail line border the TS Area to the south; and Aberdeen and several residential properties border the TS Area to the east.
  • From 1945 until 1971, wastes from the formulation operations at the FC Area were disposed of at the TS Area. People currently use the Area for recreational purposes, including a public walking trail and fishing in Page’s Lake.
  • The 10-acre F6 Area is located off N.C. State Highway 5 in a sparsely populated rural area, approximately 1.6 miles west-northwest of Aberdeen.
  • From 1950 until 1971, wastes from the formulation operations at the FC Area were disposed of at the F6 Area. The F6 Area was part of the Link Golf Course, however, this golf course recently closed. The F6 Area is currently a vacant field.
  • The 1,300 square foot R211 Area is located in a mostly rural and forested area approximately one mile east of Aberdeen off of NC Highway 211. The R211 Area was originally a borrow pit from a previous sand mining operation and later used for the disposal of pesticide-manufacturing-related waste. The owner currently uses the R211 Area for storage of personal mechanical equipment and tools. Fencing and a locked gate control access to the R211 Area.
  • The one-acre MD Area is located in a sparsely populated agricultural area west of Aberdeen off of Roseland Road. The MD Area consists of two sub-areas: Area B and Area C. A small stream, Patterson Branch, borders the MD Area to the north. A small community of single-family homes is located uphill from the MD Area.
  • During the 1950s, operations at the FC Area disposed of materials containing pesticides and pesticide residues in Area B. Site investigations also discovered pesticide materials at Area C. Fencing and locked gates control access to the MD Area. The MD Area is currently not use for any purpose.

The PRPs continue to conduct groundwater cleanup and monitoring activities. The PRPs continue to extract and treat contaminated ground water at the R211 Area and discharge the treated water back into the aquifer. Groundwater monitoring at all five areas is on-going.

The second Five-Year Review Report, completed in 2013, expressed the following site-wide Protectiveness Statement: The Site remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the short term, because all exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled; however, in order for the Site remedies to be protective in the long-term, issue an Explanation of Significant Difference to revise the cleanup level for an isomer of the pesticide hexachlorocyclohexane (BHC), delta-BHC, in the OU5 Record of Decision to be protective of human health. As of August 2017, the cleanup level for delta-BHC has not been revised.

The protectiveness statement for the third Five-Year Review Report, completed in 2018, states: Currently the Aberdeen Pesticide Dump Site is protective of human health and the nvironment in the short-term. The completed remedies at OU-2/OU-4 (source removal), OU-3 (groundwater remediation consisting of MNA and phytoremediation) and OU-5 (groundwater pump and treat, MNA, and phytoremediation) remain short-term protective of human health and the environment. The remedy currently protects human health and the environment because no human or ecological exposure pathways exist to contaminated soil or groundwater. However, in order for the remedy to be protective in the long-term, the following action needs to be taken: complete a thorough review of the contaminants of concern (COCs) for OU-3 and OU-5 and remediation levels and issue an BSD (per OU), if necessary, to amend the COCs and remediation levels to maintain protectiveness of human health and the environment.

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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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Enforcement Information

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

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