Jan 20, 2022, 7:04 am

FCX, Inc. (Washington Plant) Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) Site

EPA Identifier: NCD981475932
CERCLIS ID: NCD981475932
35.559581, -77.07445

Washington, NC

Final Date: 19890331

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Site Summary:
Federal Register Notice:  March 31, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): FCX, Inc., began repackaging and selling agricultural chemicals in 1945 on a 6-acre site at the intersection of Grimes Road and Whispering Pine Road just to the west-northwest of the city limits of Washington, Beaufort County, North Carolina. FCX, Inc., filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Federal bankruptcy code and began liquidating its assets in September 1985. The Washington site was sold in two parcels. In August 1986, Fred Webb, Inc., of Greenville, North Carolina, bought the main warehouse and 4 acres of land, including a pesticide burial trench. In August 1987, the remaining 2 acres, which contained two buildings, were sold to W.B. Gerard and Sons, a fertilizer distributor next door to the FCX facility.

In the early 1970s, the pesticide trench, which measured approximately 12 by 250 feet and 10 to 12 feet deep, was filled with waste pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Soil collected from the trench in August 1986 contained chlordane, aldrin, DDT, DDE, dieldrin, carbon disulfide, hexachlorobenzene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluorene, and mercury, according to tests conducted by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources. These chemicals may move into the Post-Miocene Surficial Aquifer, which, together with the Miocene Yorktown Aquifer, locally recharges the underlying Castle Hayne Aquifer. The Castle Hayne Aquifer, which starts at about 30 feet below the land surface at the site, is the major source of drinking water in the area. All three aquifers are interconnected. An estimated 2,850 people draw drinking water from wells within 3 miles of the site. The wetland adjacent to Tar River and Kennedy Creek begins 300 feet from the trench area. Surface waters within 3 miles downstream are used for recreational activities.

FCX, Inc., has hired contractors to study on-site contamination and recommend cleanup procedures for the trench area and the main warehouse. The chemical storage building has been cleaned up.

Status (March 31, 1989): On September 15, 1988, EPA issued Administrative Orders under CERCLA Section 106 requiring FCX, Inc., and Fred Webb, Inc., to remove the pesticides from the trench area. Both parties challenged their orders, and no removal action has occurred to date.