Badin Business Park is located on the site of a former aluminum smelter operated by Alcoa Inc. The smelter began operations in 1917, long before anyone understood the potential impact of waste materials and before there were any environmental regulations in place.

Beginning in 1990, Alcoa Inc. began to take action to identify and investigate waste sites in Stanly County related to its operations. A total of 49 potential waste sites were identified and tremendous progress has been made in addressing any sites that might pose a potential health or environmental threat.

The work is being done under the supervision of the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a federal program adopted by the State of North Carolina to regulate the management of waste.

Through the RCRA process, an initial screening assessment identified 49 areas within the plant site or associated with plant operations to evaluate. A RCRA Facility Investigation was conducted to characterize and evaluate risks associated with these areas, followed by a Corrective Measures Study to identify appropriate remediation efforts to protect human health and the environment. These efforts concluded that there are no unacceptable risks at the site based on current and anticipated future uses of the property. Click here for an overview of remediation efforts.

Additional investigations, requested by DEQ in 2017, have been completed. One study, an Ecological Risk Assessments for two areas, is currently underway. These assessments require multiple submittals for DEQ’s review and acceptance before proceeding to the next step. The process is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2022.

The Situation Today

Today, Badin Business Park continues to address environmental issues in a responsible manner. This includes managing stormwater and groundwater discharges near the former smelter site.

Badin Business Park currently monitors 11 outfalls, or drainage areas, as part of a water quality permit that allows it to discharge very low levels of certain substances — typically measured in parts per million, or parts per billion — in and around Badin Lake. The state and federal government regulate the level of allowable discharges to ensure that it is safe for human health and the environment.

Removal of Impacted Soils: As Badin Business Park continues to make improvements to the storm water system, we identified areas where potential contaminants may be concentrated. Most recently, a geophysics investigation identified such a location on the site of the former bath mill. The NC Department of Environmental Quality was notified of the discovery and of plans to remove the soils.

A total of approximately 2,000 tons of soil was removed from the site in October 2021. The soils were analyzed and characterized in accordance with North Carolina’s solid waste regulations and taken offsite to an industrial landfill that handles non-hazardous waste. (The attached table shows the sampling results confirming the non-hazardous waste determination.) The soil removal is anticipated to further reduce the mass of fluoride discharged from the site into Little Mountain Creek.

Timeline of Environmental Efforts

1990

RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA) Completed

This effort documented areas associated with the Badin Works facility where a potential release of contaminants may have occurred and identified constituents of concern. The initial assessment, completed in March 1990, identified 34 Solid Waste Management Units and two Areas of Concerns. An additional 12 Solid Waste Management Units were later added. Additional investigation of several areas was recommended.

1993

Confirmation Sampling Completed

The EPA requested sampling to provide additional data at three areas of the Badin Works facility to determine necessary next steps. The confirmation sampling was completed in November 1993.

1999-2001

RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Completed

The EPA and State of North Carolina required a comprehensive facility investigation of 16 areas to determine the nature and extent of potential releases. The investigation was submitted to the NC Department of Environmental and Natural Resources in March 2001 and approved in December 2007. Based on the results of the facility investigation and confirmation sampling, it was determined that there were no unacceptable risks at the facility and no further action was recommended for many of the sites. 

2007

State of North Carolina accepts RCRA Facility Investigation

The State of North Carolina found the RCRA Facility Investigation results to be acceptable and directs the completion of the Corrective Measures Study.

2008 – 2013

RCRA Corrective Measures Study

This effort involved developing and evaluating solutions to address areas impacted by environmental releases — primarily groundwater in three areas: the Alcoa-Badin Landfill, the Old Brick Landfill, and the north end of the plant site.
The CMS was completed in five phases:
Phase 1 – Update of the Geological and Hydrological Model
and Establishment of Corrective Action Objectives
Phase 2 – Identification and Development of Corrective Measure Alternatives
Phase 3 – Engineering Data Collection
Phase 4 – Refinement of the Corrective Measure Alternatives
Phase 5 – Justification and Recommendation of the Selected Corrective Measure Alternatives

2017 – Ongoing

Corrective Measures Study: Additional Investigations

At the State’s request, 21 additional investigations have been conducted. In addition, Ecological Risk Assessments are underway for two areas of the property. These assessments require multiple submittals for DEQ’s review and acceptance before proceeding with the next step. The process is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2022.

Overview of Remediation Activities

Badin Business Park has taken significant steps to address environmental issues at the former plant site, including the removal and disposal of 725+ tons of contaminated soils, asbestos and other materials; the installation of new liners, soil covers and caps; the relocation, repair and replacement of storm piping and sewer lines; and the closure of permitted facilities.

The link below provides a summary of remediation activities and the current status of waste areas.