Public Input Sought on Restoring Natural Resources Near Wilmington, NC — Comment Period Extended

Looking north into the marsh and uplands.
Looking north into the marsh and uplands.

Public Input Sought on Restoring Natural Resources Near Wilmington, NC — Comment Period Extended

August 26, 2015

In consideration of requests from the public for additional time to review and comment, the trustees for the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. site in Navassa, NC have extended the comment period for the Scoping Document for Restoration Planning. Comments will now be accepted through November 4, 2015. 

NOAA and other state and federal agencies (trusteesGovernment officials acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources.) are seeking public input on restoration opportunities for natural resources damaged by hazardous substance releases in Navassa, NC. Soil, sediments, and marshes were affected by chemicals—mainly components of creosote— that were released from the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation site.

The Kerr-McGee Site is a former creosote wood-treating facility located near the Cape Fear River, Brunswick River and Sturgeon Creek in Navassa, NC. The facility was dismantled by 1980, but creosote and sludge were left on site, which led to the release of contaminants into the surrounding environment. In 2010, EPA designated the property a Superfund site.

Levels of contamination in marsh sediments remain high enough to continue to have negative impacts on the marsh habitat and the ecological services it provides. In January 2015, the trustees received more than $23 million for restoration as part of a bankruptcy settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (successor to Kerr-McGee). This settlement is part of a larger $5.15 billion settlement in bankruptcy court—one of the largest environmental settlements in U.S. history.

As part of the restoration planning process, we released a restoration scoping document on August 4, 2015. The document details the environmental impacts, describes options for restoration, and presents criteria we will use to identify, evaluate, and select suitable restoration projects. On August 18, we held a public meeting in Navassa, NC to discuss the restoration scoping document; more than 100 interested community members attended. We are accepting comments on the document and restoration ideas from the public through November 4, 2015.