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The Burlington Industries Cheraw site consists of the former Burlington Industries, Inc. facility property, 3.2 miles of surface water drainage from the facility to the Great Pee Dee River and several adjacent parcels along the surface water pathway where contamination is located. The manufacturing facility was known as the James Fabrics Plant and produced woven fiberglass commercial and industrial fabrics. Part of the former Burlington Industries, Inc. facility is currently owned by Highland Industries, Inc. (a division of Takata Corporation). Adjacent properties to the surface water drainage corridor include 37 occupied private residences and public lands. Contained within the public land tracts is Huckleberry Park (a 2.7-acre public park with playground equipment for children).

During the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC’s) investigation of a residential property, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)Exit were found in surface soil. This residential property, along with other area parcels, were formerly owned by Burlington Industries; one currently undeveloped property was used by Burlington for drying wastewater solids. PCBs are toxic and persistent contaminants that pose a significant threat to human health and the environment. Subsequent sampling events found PCBs in surface and subsurface soil of adjacent residential lots, the former Burlington Industries facility property, sediment along the surface water corridor, and public and private properties downstream. Based on the high concentrations of PCBs at the site, DHEC requested that EPA conduct a Removal Site Evaluation.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

EPA conducted a fund-lead time critical removal action in 2017 that addressed contaminated surface soils at fourteen residential yards. Soils which exceed EPA’s cleanup criteria were removed and transported off-site to an approved disposal facility. Additionally, the EPA removed play structures and sand from Huckleberry Park, which has been closed since August of 2016.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 has signed an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) for Removal Action with Highland Industries for a removal action at the Burlington Industries Cheraw Site (the Site) located in Cheraw, Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The effective date of the AOC is October 23, 2017. The scope of work under the agreement is focused on soils and sediments contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and includes cleanup activities in the Highland Industries property, a segment of the nearby ditch approximately 1900 feet long, and Huckleberry Park. The presence of PCBs was discovered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and is attributed to former wastewater operations at the Burlington Industries, Inc. facility in Cheraw.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

In October 2017, EPA entered into an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) with Highland Industries for a removal action. The work to be performed under the AOC began in June 2018 and includes:

  • remediation of the Highland Industries property;
  • remediation of about 1,900 feet of drainage ditch originating near the Highland property;
  • removal of soil piles near the bank of the ditch; and
  • remediation of Huckleberry Park.

EPA determined that the site also qualifies for the next step in the Superfund Program -- inclusion on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL). Superfund is the EPA program that addresses hazardous waste sites like Burlington Industries Cheraw. The NPL is a list of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for investigation and comprehensive long-term cleanup. EPA proposed the site to the NPL in January 2018 and finalized it on the NPL on May 17, 2018.

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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 has prepared a draft Statement of Work and is preparing to issue notice letters to commence negotiation of an RI/FS Administrative of Consent. If a PRP is unwilling or unable to conduct the RI/FS, EPA will proceed Fund-lead.

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