DEQ, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service release draft restoration plan for Kerr-McGee site in Navassa Public comment period begins today; information session planned for Nov. 6

RALEIGH

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, along with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting as Natural Resource Trustees, have released the draft restoration plan and environmental assessment that identifies proposed projects to restore natural resources damaged from releases at the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. Superfund site in Navassa.

The plan can be found online at: https://darrp.noaa.gov/hazardous-waste/kerr-mcgee-chemical-corp-tronox or via hard copy upon request. The plan identifies 10 restoration projects, estimated at $11.35 million, in the Lower Cape Fear River watershed and specifically near the Town of Navassa. The proposed projects listed below address damage to natural resources through restoration or preservation of a similar habitat and provide ecological benefits near Navassa. Restoration will be done in phases until all remaining restoration funds are exhausted.

  • Alligator Creek Restoration and Conservation
  • Battleship North Carolina—Living Water Restoration
  • Carolina Beach State Park Restoration
  • Indian Creek Natural Resource Restoration and Conservation
  • Lower Black River Conservation
  • Lower Cape Fear Bottomlands Conservation
  • Merrick Creek Conservation
  • Moze Heritage Site Tidal Restoration
  • Navassa Stormwater and Riparian Restoration
  • Navassa Waterfront Park

Public comments on this initial draft restoration plan are welcome and will be accepted through Dec. 2. An information session will be held Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town of Navassa Community Center at 338 Main Street in Navassa.

                                       What: Information session to discuss draft restoration plan and environmental assessment

                                       When: Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

                                       Where: Town of Navassa Community Center
                                                    338 Main Street
                                                    Navassa, N.C. 28451

From 1936 to 1974, Kerr-McGee and other companies used the 246-acre site, located in Navassa (Brunswick County) for creosote-based wood treating. Site operations ended in 1974, and Kerr-McGee dismantled the wood-treating buildings and facilities in 1980. Kerr-McGee transferred the site to Tronox, Inc. in 2006, which declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 12, 2009.

The soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated by creosote-related chemicals. The Trustees determined that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels present in the site sediments could cause harm to the organisms living in, on or near those sediments and negatively affect the ecological services provided by the habitat. In 2014, the Trustees recovered $23 million for natural resource restoration planning and implementation.

Public comments and requests for a hard copy of the plan can be sent to Howard Schnabolk, NOAA coastal marine specialist, via email at: howard.schnabolk@noaa.gov with the subject line “Kerr McGee Draft Restoration Plan Comment,” or mailed to:

                                       Howard Schnabolk
                                       ℅ NOAA Restoration Center
                                       2234 South Hobson Ave
                                       Charleston, SC 29405

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