Southeastern Wood Preserving

Canton, MS - Region IV

Site Contact:

Subash Patel
On-Scene Coordinator

Covington Drive and Hargon Street
Canton, MS 39046

Latitude: 32.6181000
Longitude: -90.0161000

The Southeastern Wood Preserving Site is an abandoned wood preservation plant which operated from 1928 until it filed for bankruptcy in early 1979. The Site covers approximately 20 acres and is located in a predominantly commercial/residential area just east of downtown Canton, Madison County, Mississippi. Batchelor Creek (alternatively referred to as Towne Creek) and Illionois Central Gulf Railroad border the Site to the north. The railroad is no longer operational. The Site is bound by Covington Road to the south, extending from Miller Street to the west to Hargon Street to the east. The City of Canton's drinking water well field lies just south of Covington Road. An abandoned industrial area lies to the east and a residential area borders the Site west of Miller Street.

The production process involved debarking of the Southern Yellow Pine timbers and placing them in retort cylinders for drying and pressure treatment using creosote and pentachlorophenol as preservatives. Prior to 1977 and the Clean Water Act, the facility reportedly discharged approximately 50,000 gallons of wastewater directly into Batchelor Creek. In May of 1977, the company was hooked into the City of Canton sewage system. The wastewaters were to be pre-treated prior to discharge into the City lagoons. On several occassions the City ordered the facility to cease discharge due to failure to adequately treat the wastewaters.

Bachelor Creek flows through a City park approximately 1 mile downstream from the Site, passes through a residential area and then continues through downtown Canton before leading into the Pearl River.

Multiple investigations and actions have been taken by the State of Mississippi and the EPA throughout the years, including an EPA initiated an emergency response action in 1986 to stabilize three unlined surface impoundments that contained creosote sludge and water as well as an August 2009 emergency response action to remove contaminated soil and sediment and installed a slurry wall along the south bank of Batchelor Creek.

The Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspecting (PA/SI) was completed on July 17, 2009. The Site was proposed to the NPL in March 2011. The Site was listed on the NPL on May 15, 2012. The RI/FS, including a Human Health Risk Assessment, is underway with phase 1 completed in May 2013. In order to evaluate if any of the private properties adjacent to the SWP Site are impacted by Site contaminants, surface and subsurface soil samples were collected during Phase 1 of the RI/FS. Of the 45 properties sampled, ten exceeded the Regional Removal Management Levels for dioxins and benzo(a)pyrene in residential soils and two commercial properties exceeded the Regional Removal Management Levels for dioxins and benzo(a)pyrene in industrial soils. The contamination was found at a depth of 0 – 6 inch. These residential and commercial properties were referred to the Region 4 Emergency Response and Removal Branch to address under a Removal Action.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) , Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) section.