The EPA says there is contamination at a portion of the Horton Iron and Metal property at 2216 US 421 North, which was historically operated as a phosphate fertilizer manufacturing facility, along with sediments in two boat slips located on the Northeast Cape Fear River. The boat slips reportedly contain high levels of arsenic and lead.
According to the EPA, from 1911 to 1949, American Agricultural Chemical Company operated a phosphate fertilizer manufacturer with a lead-acid chamber fertilizer plant. Naco Fertilizer Company continued the fertilizer operations from 1949 to 1954. W.R. Grace owned the property from 1954-1959, but operations are unknown during this period. During the 1960s and 1970s, Horton conducted shipbreaking operations and metal salvage of World War II Liberty Ships in the two boat slips.
Current Horton Iron and Metal is a metal recycling facility. It occupies about 38 acres along the
Northeast Cape Fear River.
With all NPL sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination to either fund the cleanup or conduct the cleanup with EPA oversight. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will fund the cleanup.
Source: WWAY-TV, LLC. By WWAY. 15 September 2011
NPL Site Narrative for Horton Iron and Metal:
HORTON IRON AND METAL:
The Horton Iron and Metal property occupies a total of 38 acres and is currently operated as a metal recycling facility. The eastern border of the site is adjacent to the
Cape Fear River. There is contamination at a portion of the Horton
property, which was historically operated as a phosphate fertilizer
manufacturing facility, along with sediments in two boat slips located on the Northeast Cape Fear River.
From 1911 to 1949, American Agricultural Chemical Company operated a phosphate fertilizer manufacturer with a lead-acid chamber fertilizer plant. Naco Fertilizer Company continued the fertilizer operations from 1949 to 1954. W.R. Grace owned the property from 1954-1959, but operations are unknown during this period. During the 1960s and 1970s, Horton conducted shipbreaking operations and metal salvage of World War II Liberty Ships in the two boat slips.
Fertilizer manufacturing operations contaminated the soil, ground water and boat slip sediments with high levels of arsenic and lead. As a result of shipbreaking operations, petroleum products, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals and asbestos have been detected in soil and slip sediments.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
Fear River is a commercial and recreational fishery and is also
home to two federally endangered species. There is significant wetland frontage
along the 15-mile surface water migration route via the Northeast Cape Fear
River and Cape Fear River. PCBs, lead,
arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in boat slip sediments are above EPA ecological
sediment screening values. Ground water is contaminated with lead and arsenic
above EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Levels and poses a
threat of discharge to the river.
Response Activities (to date):
In 1988, the U.S. Coast Guard found extensive oil staining around metal crushing equipment on the Horton property. A notice of violation was issued to Horton in 1989, ordering clean up of the contaminated soils and a determination of whether ground water at the facility was contaminated. The oil-stained soils were removed and an underground storage tank removal was conducted in 1996. In 2009, EPA requested that the owner take immediate action necessary to reduce worker exposure and prevent contaminants from migrating off-site during storm events. In response, Horton installed a gate to prevent unauthorized entry into the contaminated area. Horton also installed a silt fence around the boat slips to prevent further migration of contaminated soils into the boat slips and the
Cape Fear River.
Need for NPL Listing:
The State of
referred the site to EPA
because of the extent of soil and ground water contamination and the sediment
contamination in the boat slips. EPA received a letter of support for placing
this site on the NPL from the State. North Carolina
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.