Next Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing in Wilmington. It’s to share the final plans to clean up a hazardous waste site along Sunnyvale Drive, between Carolina Beach and River Roads. The clean-up should keep toxic chemicals out of the groundwater in the area.
Heatcraft manufactured copper and aluminum heating and air conditioning heat exchangers from 1960 to 1991.
Since then, the property was sold to a company that makes boxing and crating material, so today there is no use of hazardous waste at this facility.
But there is concern that groundwater contamination from the Heatcraft years extends off the site property and down a gradient. There is also soil and surface water contamination.
Mary Siedlecki is DEQ’s Hazardous Waste Section Project Manager.
“So essentially we are cleaning it up to very, very low levels and that can take multiple years, even decades before cleanup is achieved. Now with regards to human health, before we ever approve any type of final remedy - that is the first thing that we evaluate.”
Chemicals confirmed to have leaked during the Heatcraft years include 1,1-dichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, which the EPA says is a known carcinogen. 1,4-dioxane, also likely to be carcinogenic to humans, and vinyl chloride which has been linked to forms of cancer. Amounts of these chemicals are low.
“With time as this final remedy is progressing, there is no anticipated risk to human health in the environment that will occur in future years.”
Siedlecki says most of the contamination is beneath existing structures.
THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE REMEDIATION PLAN IS WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 AT 1 P.M., AT THE NEW HANOVER COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY AT 201 CHESTNUT STREET IN WILMINGTON.
For more information: DEQ Page