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LCP Chemical

Hazardous Waste Site | Brunswick, GA | 1919 to Present

What Happened?

From the 1919 to 1994, the LCP Chemical site was occupied by a series of industrial operations. An oil refinery, power plant, and chlor-alkali The electrolysis process used in the manufacture of chlorine, hydrogen, sodium hydroxide (corrosive) solution. facility released multiple hazardous substances into the surrounding area. Contamination has been found in Purvis Creek, Turtle River, Brunswick River, and surrounding salt marsh, all part of the Turtle-Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE). Primary contaminants are PCBs polychlorinated biphenyls; a class of chemicals previously used in manufacturing that remain in the environment for many decades, accumulate in living creatures, and pose health hazards to humans, wildlife, and fish., PAHspolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; a group of organic contaminants that are often the byproducts of petroleum processing or combustion. Many are toxic to aquatic life and several are suspected of causing cancer in humans., mercury, and lead.

In 1996, the site was designated as a Superfund site by EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; federal agency with the mission to protect human health and safeguard the environment.. In 1999, approximately 13 acres of the most heavily contaminated marsh areas were excavated, filled, and replanted during an emergency removal action.

In 2016, a $28.6 million settlement was announced to further clean up the marsh. The settlement, entered into by Honeywell International and Georgia Power Company (responsible parties)The individuals, companies, or government agencies responsible for an oil spill, hazardous substance release, or ship grounding incident., with EPA, requires the companies to remove and isolate contaminated sediments in the marsh and to monitor the long-term effectiveness of the work.

NOAA has and will continue to provide technical input to EPA during the cleanup process.

What Were the Impacts?

Hazardous substances have contaminated over 700 acres of salt marsh habitat, as well as nearby surface water, groundwater, soils, and sediments. This contamination has impacted bottom-dwelling creatures, birds, fish, shellfish, and mammals, with potentially adverse effects on growth, reproduction, and survival. The protected bottlenose dolphin, federally endangered West Indian manatee, and federally threatened wood stork are known to inhabit the impacted area.

Elevated levels of mercury and PCBs have prompted the State of Georgia to issue fish and shellfish consumption advisories A federal, state, or local government recommendation to avoid eating a certain fish or shellfish because it is unsafe due to high levels of contamination. for various portions of the TBRE as early as 1992.

What’s Happening Now?

NOAA and its natural resource co-trustees Government officials acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources. are working cooperatively with Honeywell International to assess injuries to natural resources.

Aerial view of LCP Chemical site and upland marsh along the Turtle River.
Aerial view of LCP Chemical site and upland marsh along the Turtle River.

“Contaminants of concern released from the LCP site have found their way into this fragile estuarine environment that is home to valuable species and habitats. It is important that the natural resource trustees use sound scientific methods to quantify injuries to these resources and to compensate the public with appropriately designed and carefully implemented restoration projects.”

Norman Meade
NOAA Case Team Economist


Michel Gielazyn
NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division
St. Petersburg, FL
(727) 551-5771

Last updated August 19, 2020