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Liberty Fibers

Site Contact:
Karen Buerki
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
4901 Enka Highway
Morristown, TN 37813
NRC#: 937191

Liberty Fibers, Morristown, TN

On April 21, 2010, Region 4 ERRB responded as a result of a fire incident at the Liberty Fibers textile plant south of Morristown, TN. The 230 acre facility is a former rayon production plant which started operation in 1947 by American Enka. BASF bought American Enka in 1985 and operated the plant until 1992 when it was sold to Lenzing AG. Liberty Fibers Corporation was the last manufacturer of rayon at the Site. Numerous structures on site have been demolished over recent years by A & E Salvage, who bought the salvage rights to the property. Demolition operations generated a number of debris piles that have been determined to contain friable asbestos. The fire event occurred along the southern perimeter of the site in a large debris pile and the Morristown Fire Department responded to the incident. No injuries were reported. During the emergency response, OSC Perry Gaughan served the owner with a Notice of Federal Interest to cease any further demolition or recycling operations on site so that the friable asbestos could be contained and mitigated. Region 4 RCRA Branch has filed numerous violations against the current owner for past environmental issues. Additionally, the responding OSC was advised of other areas on site of possible storage or contamination by hazardous materials, including carbon disulfide and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). The OSC continues to coordinate EPA’s response efforts with TDEC and local officials.

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