Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

HORTON IRON AND METAL
WILMINGTON, NC

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 42-acre Horton Iron and Metal site is located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Fertilizer manufacturing took place at the site from 1911 to 1954. During the 1960s and 1970s, ship breaking of World War II Liberty ships took place in the two slips on site. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011 because of contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater from past industrial operations at the site. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the area to protect people and the environment from contamination. EPA has tested private wells in use around the site and did not identify any threats. EPA and NCDENR are working with the site’s PRPs to fully assess site-related threats to people and the environment and to evaluate cleanup options.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

EPA and NCDENR are currently working with the site’s PRPs to conduct the remedial investigation/feasibility study.

After EPA issues the long-term remedy for the site, the PRPs will begin preparations to carry out the approved cleanup activities.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA and NCDENR are working with the site’s PRPs to conduct the remedial investigation/feasibility study.

After completing the remedial investigation/feasibility study, EPA will issue a proposed long-term remedy to address any contamination and related risk to people and the environment. After receiving input from NCDENR and the community, EPA will issue the final long-term remedy for the site.

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

The 42.1-acre site is located in an industrial corridor along the Northeast Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. A scrap yard and metal recycling business operates on the western half of the site, just east of Highway 421. An active rail line cuts north-to-south through the middle of the site. The eastern portion of the site is vacant. Two boat slips are also located on the eastern edge of the site. The focus of an upcoming study will be the eastern portion of the site, east of the railroad tracks. Site surroundings include the Northeast Cape Fear River to the east, wooded areas to the west and industrial properties to the north and south. A small neighborhood, which includes low-income residents, known as Flemington is located about three-quarters of a mile northwest of the site. The Virginia Carolina Chemical (VCC) Almont Works site is located directly north of the site; just beyond is the Northeast Chemical Company Superfund site. The adjacent Northeast Cape Fear River is a commercial and recreational fishery home to two federally endangered species. The river connects to an intercoastal waterway and various companies use the river for cargo transportation. From 1911 to 1954, companies conducted phosphate fertilizer manufacturing at the site. In the 1960s, companies dredged out the boat slips and placed the dredged material along the northern, western and southern edges of the slips. During the 1960s and 1970s, companies conducted ship breaking of World War II Liberty ships in the two slips located on the site. In 1988, the U.S. Coast Guard found extensive oil staining around metal crushing equipment at the site. In 2003, NCDENR conducted surface and subsurface (belowground) soil, ground water, surface water and sediment sampling throughout the site and in the adjacent Northeast Cape Fear River. The EPA also conducted several investigations at the site. The State of North Carolina referred the site to the EPA because of the extent of ground water, soil and sediment contamination. In 2011, the EPA listed the site on the NPL.

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Enforcement Information

The EPA has identified several PRPs at the site. The EPA and NCDENR are currently working with the PRPs to have them pay for and conduct the remedial investigation/feasibility study.

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