Alcoa - Badin Business Park Information

Alcoa began operations at its Badin Works facility, located on Highway 740 in Badin (Stanly County), in 1916 as a primary aluminum smelter, manufacturing products like carbon cathodes and anodes, specialty metals and continuous cast sheets. Aluminum production was reduced in August 2002, but the plant continued to manufacture anodes and high-purity aluminum until 2007. The plant ceased operations and was permanently closed in 2010. Prior to closure, the facility generated approximately 2,700 tons per year of spent potliner, which has been identified as a hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Now known as the Badin Business Park, the former Alcoa Badin Works facility encompasses 123 acres but only 90 acres comprised the active facility. The main plant area consists of the facility area plus two capped and closed offsite landfills. The Former Ball Field has been identified as an area of interest due to reports of past disposal of spent potliner.

The former Alcoa Badin Works facility has a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste Permit issued by the Hazardous Waste Section in DEQ’s Division of Waste Management. This permit covers assessment and remediation activities of hazardous waste contamination at the site.  Previously, a Hazardous Waste Management Permit was issued to Alcoa on March 30, 1992 for the storage of spent potliner. The North Carolina Hazardous Waste Section has the authority (under 40 CFR 261.32) to regulate the storage of spent potliner from primary aluminum reduction as a listed waste from a specific source (K088). 

The site is required to secure and maintain an active NPDES permit (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System), for regulated and controlled discharge of wastewater and storm water, in accordance with all applicable State and Federal laws. The Permit is issued and regulated by the Division of Water Resources, responsible for monitoring and enforcement actions.

Badin Lake and Lake Tillery are located on the Yadkin River, and are two of a series of reservoirs constructed along the main stem of the river in the early to mid-1900s to provide hydropower to industries and area residents. The lakes straddle the border between Stanly and Montgomery counties. Both waterbodies are classified as WS-IV and contain a total of three drinking water intakes. They are also popular destinations for recreation, including multi-use trails, fishing, swimming and boating.  

Map of Badin Lake and Alcoa facility

Important Dates and Milestones

Date Division Action
May - Sept. 2021
Water Resources
2021 Study Plan for Supplemental Testing for Baden Lake and Lake Tillery (see Sampling Test Results Tab below)
   May Results: all below detection limit 0.005 mg/L
   June Results: post upon completion
August 2021 Water Resources Compliance Evaluation Inspection conducted: Report and Cover Letter
Summer 2022 Water Resources Permit Renewal process begins; public comment period TBA
Oct 31, 2022
Water Resources
NPDES permit expires 

 

Site Information

Badin Business Park Map and Outfall Locations

Badin Business Park Map and Outfall Locations

Five major areas regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enforced by the Division of Waste Management, of the Badin Works site are highlighted on the map below: the former Manufacturing Facility area, Alcoa/Badin Landfill, Former Ball Field, Sediment Caps and the Old Brick Landfill. Additional information about each of these areas can be found below. Also shown are the outfalls, which are regulated by the Division of Water Resources, and detailed in sections below.

Map of Areas of interest at Badin Business Park

 
General RCRA Permit - Waste Management

General RCRA Permit - Waste Management

Alcoa Incorporated submitted a RCRA Hazardous Waste Permit Application to store spent potliner (KO88 Hazardous Waste) in March 1990 for the facility in Badin. The Hazardous Waste Management Permit (NCD 003 162 542) to store spent potliner was issued on March 30, 1992. Since that time, the Alcoa – Badin Works/Badin Business Park has been regulated under the authority of RCRA for the investigation and remediation of hazardous waste contamination. RCRA permits are issued for 10 years. When a RCRA permit expires, authority to operate under the permit continues until the issuance of the subsequent permit. The Permit was renewed on March 23, 2006.  

A HSWA–Only Permit Application was received on February 19, 2016. The draft HSWA–Only Permit was public noticed on August 13, 2018, with comment period held through Nov. 11, 2018. On December 19, 2018, the Hazardous Waste Section decided to delay the issuance of the HSWA–Only Permit until the Investigative Work Plan for the Phase 4 and 5 Corrective Measures Study, Alcoa/Badin Landfill, and Former Ball Field is complete, and a final remedy is proposed. 

It was determined under the Expanded Pre-CERCLIS Screening Assessment (September 25, 2015) that further evaluation at the Former Ball Field could be conducted under RCRA authority and oversite. EPA approved the Expanded Pre–CERCLIS Screening Assessment on the Ball Field on October 16, 2015. The Site Inspection Report (approved by EPA on June 14, 2016) also determined that further evaluation of the Alcoa Badin Landfill could be conducted under RCRA authority and oversight. It has been repeatedly confirmed by the EPA that the site will be addressed under the authority of DEQ’s Hazardous Waste Section as RCRA corrective action. CERCLA authority would apply to both if no action was taken by Alcoa.

Badin Business Park is required to conduct remediation of contamination associated with all 49 solid waste management units (SWMU) and areas of concern identified in the permit. Remediation activities have been conducted under RCRA authority at the site since the issuance of the Hazardous Waste Management Permit to store spent potliner on March 30, 1992.

Hazardous Waste RCRA Permit-related Documents

Manufacturing Facility

Manufacturing Facility

Map image of former Alcoa manufacturing facilityAlcoa began operations at the Badin site in 1915 as a primary aluminum smelter. Principal products manufactured at the plant include carbon cathodes and anodes, continuous cast sheets and specialty metals. Alcoa reduced aluminum smelting operations at the Badin facility in August 2002 and ceased operation in 2007. The plant was permanently closed in 2010 and demolition was completed in 2012. A certification of closure for the two regulated storage units for the storage of spent potliner –  Building 206 North Containment and Building 206 South Container Storage – was accepted on July 9, 2012.

During its operation, the main plant area consisted of two potlines, an electrode plant, casting facilities for the production of aluminum products, a machine shop, utility buildings, and offices. Most of the solid waste management units and areas of concern are located in the main plant area. Spent potliner has been identified by EPA as a hazardous waste from primary aluminum reduction. Several solid waste management units have been found containing spent potliner associated with the Former Alcoa–Badin Works facility. 

Under RCRA, facilities must evaluate all the options for remediation of the solid waste management units and areas of concern at a site before choosing the preferred remedial alternative for the site. Remediation options must be protective of human health and the environment, as well as designed to be effective for the specific conditions of the site and the constituents of concern.

 

The Hazardous Waste Management Permit issued in 1992 required Alcoa to identify and investigate any solid waste management units for potential adverse impact to the environmental media at the Former Badin-Works Facility. Comprehensive sampling of the environmental media at Former Alcoa–Badin Works site was conducted in areas identified as potentially contaminated with hazardous constituents during the RCRA Facility Investigation process. Based on the findings of the RCRA Facility Investigation Report, the Corrective Measures Study process was initiated to identify and evaluate remedial alternatives to determine effective, efficient corrective action technologies to remediate contaminated media. 

A total of 49 solid waste management units and areas of concern were identified at the former Alcoa – Badin Works site.  Investigation and assessment of many of these areas determined that no further action was needed. Interim measures have been conducted at eight solid waste management units. Those measures included the placement or improvement of landfill covers, installation and repair of surface water diversion pipes and ditches, replacement of open ditches with sealed-joint concrete pipe and excavation of impacted soil.

There are four solid waste management units (SWMU) that required a Corrective Measures Study to address remaining contamination: SWMU 2 - the Alcoa/Badin Landfill, SWMU 3 - the Old Brick Landfill, SWMU 44 - the Pine Tree Grove Area, and SWMU 46 - the Coke Management Area. Eleven solid waste management units have groundwater contamination and require remediation. Targeted soil sampling was conducted at the Former Badin Works Facility in 2018 to identify any remaining contamination at the plant site. 

Waste Management Related Documents*
     
*Historical files can be found in the "Resources and Historical Files" section below.

Water Resources

Permit documents, data and correspondence by year

Alcoa/Badin Landfill

Alcoa/Badin Landfill

Map image of Alcoa/Badin LandfillThe Alcoa/Badin Landfill is a 14-acre, unlined, municipal solid waste landfill located nearly 500 feet south of Badin Business Park (formerly Badin Works facility). Little Mountain Creek is south of the Alcoa/Badin Landfill and flows southeastward and enters Mountain Creek. The landfill received industrial waste from the facility as well as from the Town of Badin until the landfill closed in the mid-1970s. After the landfill was closed, it was graded and seeded with grass. Then, it was regraded with improvements to the cover in 1997.

The Alcoa/Badin Landfill is one of the 49 total solid waste management units and areas of concern on the Badin Business Park site. The RCRA Facility Assessment Report (1990) recommended that an investigation be conducted on the landfill. As part of the investigation, groundwater has been sampled.

A low-flow seep collection system, which merged the three seeps at the base of the landfill into one single point of discharge, was completed in 2000. That system was replaced in 2005 due to the installation of a force main used to pump the seep water to the county sewer. As part of site remediation under RCRA, the landfill has been covered with an engineered cap to reduce the migration of contaminants from the landfill into the surrounding environment. The cap is designed to minimize erosion to prevent the waste from being exposed to the environment or moving offsite, as well as to shed rainwater to reduce leaching of contaminants from the landfill into the groundwater.

The Alcoa/Badin Landfill was included in the RCRA Facility Investigation Report and Corrective Measure Study. The Hazardous Waste Section approved the “Investigative Work Plan for the Phase 4 and 5 Corrective Measures Study, Alcoa/Badin Landfill, and Former Ball Field” in January 2018. Data collection, investigative work, remedial alternatives, and the evaluation of remedial alternatives for areas contaminated with hazardous constituents, including the Alcoa/Badin Landfill, Old Brick Landfill, Former Ball Field, and the Main Plant Area are included in the work being conducted under this document.    

Related documents

Former Ball Field

Former Ball Field

Map image of former Ball Field at Alcoa siteThe Former Ball Field is a nearly 10-acre area east of Badin Business Park across State Highway 740 that was historically used as a baseball field. Ball Field structures were removed in the late 1990s. Following a citizen’s report in 2014 that spent potliner was disposed within this area, historical research was done to find out when and how the site was developed. Alcoa determined that it was developed between 1938 and 1950, but by 1990s it was mainly used as a grassy field for community events. 

Based on community input, additional investigative work was done at multiple onsite and offsite locations. Among these is the Former Ball Field, where Alcoa has conducted additional investigation to look for waste that was reported by community members to have been placed there by Alcoa. An investigation was conducted to determine if potliner had been disposed in this area, or if there were any adverse effect from the Badin Works industrial activity to the area. This included the collection and analysis of surface and sub-surface soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater samples. The investigations included ground-penetrating radar surveys, magnetometer investigations, and a grid pattern of soil and groundwater samples across the entire field.

Also investigated was the old railroad bed which ran across the north end of the ball field adjacent to the edge of Badin Lake. Additionally, an area in the parking lot was excavated to search for potential waste disposal. The material found appeared to be the remnants of granulated activated carbon that was stored in the area as it was being used in the 2012-2013 Badin Lake sediment capping project.  Laboratory samples of that area indicated no hazardous constituents above regulatory levels. This investigative work is ongoing.

Related documents:

Badin Lake Sediment Caps

Badin Lake Sediment Caps

Sediment caps at former Alcoa siteAn Administrative Agreement for State-Directed Assessment and Remedial Action for the placement of an engineered sediment cap over areas impacted by polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in two locations of Badin Lake was approved in September 2012. The sediment caps are made up of a layer of sand and granular activated carbon, which absorbs organic compounds to prevent them from leaving the site, and a top layer of gravel and rocks to keep the material from being disturbed. The caps were constructed to keep contaminated sediment from being exposed and released into the water. This option was chosen over removal in part due to concerns about the high levels of these compounds that would be released into the water by removal activities and that could be spread widely throughout the lake and river systems, causing additional exposure concerns. Construction of the sediment cap was completed in February 2013, and the cap evaluation was completed in October 2013. A one-year inspection of the sediment cap was conducted in 2014, and a five–year inspection of the sediment was conducted in June 2018.

The sediment caps were placed on areas located in the vicinity of storm water discharge outfalls in Badin Lake that drain the former Alcoa-Badin Works site. One sediment cap was installed near the boat ramp on Badin Lake, and the other sediment cap is in place at Outfalls 011 and 012 in Badin Lake, as shown on the map.    

 Related documents:

Old Brick Landfill

Old Brick Landfill

Location of Old Brick Landfill at Alcoa-Badin Business Park siteThe nearly three-acre Old Brick Landfill was used to dispose of spent potliner and furnace brick from smelting operations from 1915 to 1960. In 1987, the landfill was capped with 12 inches of compacted clay. A diversion ditch was constructed on the upslope side of the unit to divert surface water around the cap.  

In 1996, interim measures were conducted to reduce water infiltration into the landfill with improvements of the surface water diversion. Steps were implemented in 1997 to repair damage to the cover. More work was done to divert surface water to prevent surface water run-on onto the cover of the Old Brick Landfill.

NPDES Permit Information-Division of Water Resources

NPDES Permit Information-Division of Water Resources

The site is required to secure and maintain an active NPDES permit (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System), for regulated and controlled discharge of wastewater and storm water, in accordance with all applicable State and Federal laws. The Permit is issued and regulated by the Division of Water Resources, responsible for monitoring and enforcement actions.

NPDES Permit Records

Violations and Enforcement Actions

Special Order by Consent Documents

Sampling Test Results & Related Resource Data

Sampling Test Results & Related Resource Data

Water Resources

Permit-Required Monthly Test Results (Digital Monitoring Reports or eDMRs)

Summer 2021 Badin Lake Supplemental Testing

In response to public concerns shared during a recent public comment period, DEQ initiated a 2021 Study Plan for Supplemental Testing for Badin Lake and Lake Tillery occuring May-September, 2021. 

For the month of May, all analytical returns were below the detection limit of 0.005 mg/L. Additional updates will be posted as they become available.

Other Testing Information and Resources

NC Lake Ambient Monitoring Program

The Ambient Lakes Monitoring Program (ALMP) originated under EPA's Clean Lakes Program and is designed to identify long-term trends of lakes and reservoirs across North Carolina.  The water quality data collected is used to calculate the state of nutrient enrichment (trophic state) and determine if lakes meet their designated use. 

The Division of Water Resources staff sample approximately 160 lakes on 5-year rotating basin schedule.  Lake stations are located statewide.

There are four monitoring sites in Badin Lake as part of the ambient monitoring program. Additional site locations in the basin are available at NC Lake Monitoring Stations

Public Water Supply Information

The City of Albemarle has the only surface water intake used for a public water system on Badin Lake.  It is on the northern end of the lake, indicated by the purple water drop on the map below. The City of Albemarle is required to collect cyanide and fluoride samples from their entry point to the distribution system (after treatment).  Data on samples can be found at: https://www.pwss.enr.state.nc.us/NCDWW/ at NC0184010.

 

 

Additional Historical Information

Additional Historical Information

Waste Management

Water Resources

Archived Permitting Information