The Forshaw Chemical site is approximately 5.25 acres in size and includes two former pentachlorophenol (PCP) formulating buildings, an office building, and a warehouse. The site is located in a mixed industrial/residential area. A municipal park and elementary school are located on the opposite bank of Stewart Creek, just downstream of the site. Access to the majority of the site is restricted, as observed during the on-site/off-site reconnaissances and the Site Inspection (SI) and Expanded Site Inspection (ESI) sampling events conducted for Clorox Chemical, which is adjacent to Forshaw Chemical and shares the same surface water pathway.
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Forshaw Chemical began formulating PCP in 1971. Production of PCP continued in the building until the early 1980s, at which point manufacturing operations were transferred to a newer building located on the northwest corner of the property. PCP continued to be blended on the property up until December 2003, when Forshaw Chemical ceased all PCP production operations. Currently, the property serves as a distribution center only. The original PCP manufacturing building is currently used for storage of Buckshot, an herbicide, which is in pellet form. This building is rundown and accessible to the public.
During the March 2005 SI for Clorox Chemical, two surface soil samples were collected along the west side of the original PCP manufacturing building, adjacent to the loading dock area. Analytical results for indicated the presence of PCP at a concentration of 250,000 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg).
In addition to the soil samples, a duplicate set of surface water and sediment samples were collected at the probable point of entry (PPE). The PPE is applicable for both a portion of the Clorox Chemical site, as well as the entire Forshaw Chemical property. PCP was detected in the surface water at an average concentration of 160 micrograms per liter (µg/L) and in the sediment at a concentration as high as 900 µg/kg. On October 4, 2005, the North Carolina Superfund Section personnel conducted an on-site/off-site reconnaissance for the Clorox Chemical site. According to an employee of Forshaw Chemical, the City of Charlotte’s stormwater system captures runoff upgradient of the Forshaw Chemical property. Forshaw Chemical’s stormwater system ties into the City of Charlotte’s system on the site, immediately downgradient of the former PCP manufacturing buildings. All stormwater that runs through the Forshaw Chemical property is piped directly into Stewart Creek, Stewart Creek, as well as the entire 15-mile surface water pathway for the site, is considered a fishery.
Based on the potential surface water pathway receptors, the North Carolina Superfund Section proceeded with an ESI for the Clorox Chemical site. On December 5–6, 2005 and January 25, 2006, the North Carolina Superfund Section personnel conducted an ESI sampling event at Clorox Chemical. A total of five soil samples from the overland flow pathway from Forshaw Chemical and immediately upgradient of their stormwater system were collected during the December 2005 ESI sampling event. Results from the December 2005 sampling showed pcp in concentrations of 1,700,000 (ug/Kg)in the stormwater sediment within Forshaw Chemical property. Arsenic levels also exceeded EPA Health based benchmarks with arsenic concentrations as high as 93 (mg/Kg). Dioxin levels did exceed EPA health based benchmarks but the toxic equivalent (TEQ) did not exceed EPA benchmarks. In addition, a total of six surface water and six sediment samples from the January 2006 ESI sampling event pertain to Forshaw Chemical and its impact upon Stewart Creek.
Since there has been an observed release of PCP to the on-site soils and Stewart Creek, and the potential for soil exposure to the neighboring community, the North Carolina Superfund Section recommended that Forshaw Chemical be added to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS). The site was added to CERCLIS on April 3, 2006. A Preliminary Assessment (PA) was completed for the site and approved by EPA on April 3, 2006.
On June 6 2007, US EPA arrived onsite to collect analytical samples from around the Forshaw Facility. Sample locations focused on the potential pathways of contaminant release offsite. A site reconnaissance was performed to locate the storm water pipe system to help determine sample locations. Samples were collected from sediment/soil located within the storm water pipes, sediment from the lagoon, and sediment/water from the adjacent creek. Samples were brought to the laboratory and analyzed for Dioxins, PCP, Pesticides and Arsenic. Analytical results from the sampling event were reviewed and validated by a TN&A senior chemist. Results showed contaminants above the Region 9 industrial and residential standards for arsenic, and several dioxin compounds. These results indicated contamination potentially leaving the site. US EPA held a conference call on August 6th to discuss the results with NCDENR, and the EPA. EPA’s toxicologist Scott Sudweeks participated in the conference call to discuss future actions. It was decided that further action was necessary to determine the risk to public health outside of the chemical facilities boundaries. EPA is currently in discussions with the PRP as to the path forward.