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Release Date: 01/31/2003
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Press and Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun a Superfund hazardous substance removal at the LCP-Holtrachem Site in Riegelwood, Columbus County, North Carolina. The removal is a short-term cleanup intended to stabilize or clean up a site that poses an imminent and substantial threat to human health or the environment due to mercury contamination. The removal is taking place under the authority and direction of the EPA Region 4 Emergency Response and Removal Branch (ERRB). Honeywell International, Inc. has voluntarily entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA and will be performing the removal action at the site.

A removal site evaluation began in January 2002. As a result of the evaluation, a removal action was proposed. Cleanup may include:

-removal and disposal of the cell building and other contaminated portions of the physical plant;

- treatment and disposal of wastewater and other plant process liquids;

- collection, treatment, and or disposal of all on-site contaminated water and sludge resulting from decontamination operations;

- decontamination of all vehicles/equipment used in excavation and transportation of debris and contaminated soil;

- providing dust suppression to ensure than no contaminated media/dust particles migrate from the site; and

- securing contaminated areas on a 24 hour basis to prevent access by unauthorized persons.

The removal is expected to be completed by late summer 2003.

EPA will perform oversight of the AOC and will be on site continuously throughout the project. In addition, EPA and its contractor will perform on-site and off-site air sampling and real-time air monitoring specific to mercury.

The site is a 26-acre facility characterized by buildings, warehouses, ponds, and disposal areas located at 636 John L. Riegel Road in an industrial zone in Riegelwood. The site is wedged between the Cape Fear River and the International Paper facility and is bordered by wetlands to the east. The facility began operations in 1963 and ceased in October 2000. The site is a former chlor-alkali manufacturing facility that produced chlorine, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and hydrochloric acid using the mercury cell process.