ATLANTA (January 17, 2017) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its initial list of Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential. The Columbus Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp site is one of 31 sites on the list.
“EPA is more than a collaborative partner to remediate the nation’s most contaminated sites, we’re also working to successfully integrate Superfund sites back into communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today’s redevelopment list incorporates Superfund sites ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization.”
The 90-acre Kerr-McGee site is located at 2300 North 14th Avenue in Columbus, Miss. The site includes the area where Kerr-McGee and its successor, Tronox Incorporated, operated a chemical manufacturing facility from 1928 to 2003. While it operated, Kerr-McGee made pressure-treated railroad and wood products using creosote and creosote tar solutions. Operators also used pentachlorophenol for wood treating from the 1950s until the mi-1970s. EPA put the site on the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011 because of contaminated groundwater, sediment and soil caused by facility operations. The Multistate Trust, under oversight from EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, has taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect the public and the environment from contamination. EPA is currently working on the final cleanup plan for remaining contamination at the site.
Community stakeholders favor mixed-use redevelopment of the site, including light industrial, solar, commercial and health center uses. More than 20 acres of the roughly 45-acre pine yard could be ready for redevelopment in the next two years.
Superfund redevelopment has helped countless communities reclaim and reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land. Superfund sites on the list have significant redevelopment potential based on previous outside interest, access to transportation corridors, land values and other critical development drivers.
In July 2017, the Superfund Task Force released its recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund program including a focus on redevelopment training, tools and resources towards sites on the NPL. EPA will work diligently with developers interested in reusing these and other Superfund sites; will identify potentially interested businesses and industries to keep them apprised of redevelopment opportunities; and will continue to engage with community groups in cleanup and redevelopment activities to ensure the successful redevelopment and revitalization of their communities.
Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country. The Superfund program remains dedicated to addressing risk and accelerating progress at all of its sites, not just those on the list. The list is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate.
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