Caraleigh Phosphate and Fertilizer Works was a facility that became incorporated in 1891. The facility used lead lined acid chambers in the production of various fertilizers. According to fire insurance maps, the facility burned down in 1892. During this fire, sulfuric acid was released from the warehouse. Based on historical data, the quantity released was in great enough volumes that each time it rained, the acid would leach into the city’s water supply in great enough volumes to kill fish. The facility was rebuilt and continued to use the lead-lined acid chambers until approximately 1914.
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This historical data prompted North Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct a preliminary assessment site investigation (PA/SI) on June 2, 2004. DENR’s sampling results showed a significant level of lead and arsenic are present at the Site. The obtain levels of lead as high as 5,074 ppm and levels of arsenic as high as 253 ppm. These levels are much higher than EPA Preliminary Remediation Goals for industrial soils of 750 ppm and 1.5 ppm for lead and arsenic respectively. This lead DENR to refer the Site to EPA for consideration as a possible removal action.
On July 27, 2004, EPA with members of the Science and Ecosystems Support Division (SESD) conducted a removal assessment at the Site. Sampling data obtain by EPA was consistent with DENR’s data.