© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Navassa Superfund site is getting cleaned up, and parts will be sold for redevelopment

The Navassa Superfund site, north of Leland and Belville, in Brunswick County.
The Navassa Superfund site, north of Leland and Belville, in Brunswick County.

One section of the superfund site in Navassa is officially cleaned of pollution, and a second section is on its way to completion. The contaminated site in Brunswick County operated as a a wood-treating plant from 1936 to 1980, which left much of the soil contaminated with creosote.

In 2003, the EPA designated the Kerr McGee Chemical Corp property in Navassa as a superfund site, meaning the owners who polluted that land were supposed to clean up the contamination.

But the company formed a spin-off corporation to hold its contaminated property, which declared bankruptcy in 2009. That company, Tronox, eventually settled a lawsuit with a payout of $59 million dollars to pay for environmental cleanups. $4.2 million went to clean up the site in Navassa with the help of Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, or ETG.

Now, a 20-acre segment of the site has completed its clean-up and been removed from the EPA’s national priority list, with another 16-acre segment on its way.

The process involves scooping out contaminated soil and bringing it to a landfill, then replacing it with uncontaminated soil.

The trust plans to sell at least 86 acres of the 240 acre site. Another 20 acres will become the Moze Heritage Center and Nature Park, which will be Navassa’s contribution to the North Carolina Greenway / Blueway Gullah Geechee Heritage Trail.

But Claire Woods, ETG’s Director of Environmental Justice Policies and Programs, says the land that’s up for sale can’t be used for just anything.

“The development plan must be supportive of the Moze Heritage Center and nature park and public access to the river. And we would expect the winning bidder to make a commitment to sustainable development practices," she said.

She added that the winning bid could also involve other community benefits, like amenities, jobs or an increased tax base. ETG is seeking input from the community on these criteria, and the property will go up for a bid once that community input has been received.

Stakeholders who wish to share comments or ideas about these criteria can contact Claire Woods at cw@g-etg.com.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant on the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.