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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Proposes Site in Cheraw, South Carolina to National Priorities List to Clean Up Contamination

Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (January 9, 2018) –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Burlington Industries Cheraw site in Cheraw, SC, along with nine other sites across the country to the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL). An additional four hazardous waste sites were formally added to the NPL.

Superfund, which Congress established in 1980, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites and converts them into community resources. EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup.

“Today’s action ensures the necessary resources are available for effective and safe revitalization of some of the most contaminated sites across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Superfund clean-up continues to be a priority at EPA as we work intently to create a safer and healthier environment for all communities affected.”  

EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment. EPA deletes sites from the NPL once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the Agency’s help. The Agency may also find contamination during its own investigations.

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 a number of adjacent parcels along the surface water pathway. Part of the former Burlington Industries, Inc. facility is currently owned by Highland Industries, Inc. (a division of Takata Corp.).  Adjacent properties to the surface water drainage corridor include 37 occupied private residences and public lands. Contained within in the public lands tracts is Huckleberry Park (a 2.7-acre public park with playground equipment for children).

During the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control’s (DHEC) investigation of a property in a residential neighborhood which was once owned by Burlington Industries and held wastewater solids drying beds, the presence of polychorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was found in surface soils. Subsequent sampling found PCBs in surface and subsurface soils of adjacent residential lots, the former Burlington Industries property, sediments along the surface water corridor, and public and private properties downstream. PCBs persist in the environment, accumulate in fish and other animals, and can cause health effects in people.

Due to the high levels of PCBs at the Site, DHEC requested that the EPA evaluate the site for a removal action to address the most highly contaminated areas. On April 25, 2017, EPA began a removal action at the Site. The action addressed highly contaminated surface soils at 14 residential yards. Soils which exceed EPA’s cleanup criteria were removed and transported to an approved disposal facility.  Clean soil was returned to residential properties and vegetative ground cover was added to prevent erosion.

Additionally, the removal action addressed play structures and sand from Huckleberry Park, which has been closed since August of 2016.  The need for any further cleanup work in the park will be evaluated and communicated to the town of Cheraw and surrounding community.

Adding the Site to the NPL will allow EPA to conduct a comprehensive assessment of risks to public health and the environment, and take any additional clean up actions needed. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term clean up.

Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA's goal is to work with community partners at every site by establishing a process to explore future uses before the cleanup remedy is selected. This gives EPA the best chance of ensuring remedies are consistent with a site’s likely future use.  

The Superfund law directs EPA to update the NPL at least annually.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites:

For information about Superfund and the NPL:

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 Administrator Scott Pruitt established a task force to restore EPA's Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. Click here to learn more.