Superfund Site Profile
The HoltraChem site is located approximately 20 miles west-northwest of the City of Wilmington, North Carolina. The site includes the former 24-acre HoltraChem chlor-alkali manufacturing plant at 636 John Riegel Road in the City of Riegelwood, North Carolina, and all nearby areas contaminated from plant operations. The Cape Fear River borders one side of the plant. The other three sides are bounded by International Paper’s Riegelwood Mill (IP). The nearby area includes residential, industrial and commercial uses.
The former chlor-alkali plant located on the HoltraChem site began operations in 1963 and ceased in 2000. The plant was originally constructed to provide chlorine gas, caustic soda, and bleach to the adjacent IP facility, using a mercury cell process. Other products were sold or were used in-house by HoltraChem.
The Riegelwood Mill located on the adjacent IP property has been in operation since 1951 and produces solid bleach board, bristols and market pulp. IP has operated a permitted industrial landfill on its property since 1963. The landfill is surrounded by a series of wastewater treatment ponds used in Mill operations that ultimately discharge to the Cape Fear River.
HoltraChem discharged process wastewater generated during chlorine production to IP’s wastewater treatment system. IP personnel have indicated that until the late 1970s or early 1980s, HoltraChem process wastewater was discharged to IP’s North Bay treatment pond. Subsequently, HoltraChem’s discharge was relocated to the head of IP’s treatment works. The North Bay treatment pond served as a settling lagoon for wastewater treatment solids (WWTS) until 2002. It operated for over 20 years.