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Coal Ash Disposal Site Remediation Project


There is an environmental assessment currently underway at Town owned property at 828 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. The Town of Chapel Hill takes its role of environmental stewardship very seriously.

The Town is awaiting further direction from NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources on its recommendations for next steps for this site. This was the site of a coal ash infill that dates from the 1960s and 1970s. When the Town discovered the materials in late 2013, we acted quickly to notify NC DENR. We are committed to following all environmental laws and standards to ensure the health and safety of our community.

It is important to provide the public with clear and accurate information, and not to allow rumors based on hearsay to develop. This is why we continue to be transparent with all information on this matter, providing reports and updates to the Council and posting these on our website at We will continue to do so.

Here are the facts: 

  • Soil samples taken on the site in early 2014 identified elevated levels of some coal ash related metals. The levels of metals found in these samples did not exceed established standards for the current and continued use of the property. 
  • In March 2014, our contracted engineers conducted preliminary testing of groundwater samples and found elevated levels of several coal ash related metals in one of two monitoring wells tested. NC DENR requested retesting of these wells using a low flow pumping process to reduce sample turbidity. These follow-up samples were taken in August 2014 and found no elevated levels of coal ash related metals in the groundwater. 
  • Samples of surface water from Bolin Creek taken both upstream and downstream from the site have not found any impact from the coal ash fill materials on the Police Station property. 
  • We have installed silt fencing at the base of the slope above Bolin Creek to mitigate the potential for materials to migrate off-site and security fencing around a section of the site to restrict public access. These are precautionary and proactive measures. 
  • NC DENR is reviewing the latest information from our consultant, provided in September 2014. They will provide recommendations for the Town’s next steps. When these recommendations are received, we will provide these to the Council and the public for further consideration.

Phase I Remedial Investigation Work Plan (Nov. 10, 2014)

Memo from Lance Norris to Town Manager Roger Stancil: PD Coal Ash Project Status (Oct. 8, 2014)

Letter from Falcon Engineering to Lance Norris: Responses to NC DENR Sept. 19, 2014 Letter (Oct. 3, 2014)

Letter from NC DENR to Town Manager Roger Stancil (Sept. 19, 2014)

Forwarded Memo from Town Manager Roger L. Stancil to Mayor and Council (Sept. 2, 2014)

Transmittal letter from Falcon Engineering to NC DENR with attached lab analyses of groundwater retesting results (Sept. 2, 2014)

NC DENR Site Conditions Questionnaire (Aug. 27, 2014)

Topo Map showing estimate of coal ash fill locations (May 27, 2014)

NC DENR Letter to Town (May 28, 2014)

NC DENR Letter to Town (May 7, 2014)

Forwarded Memo from Town Manager Roger L. Stancil to Mayor and Council (April 24, 2014)

Police Department Property Environmental Assessment (March 25, 2014)

Second Round of Testing Adjacent to the Creek

Memo from Town Manager Roger L. Stancil to Mayor and Council (Oct. 22, 2013)

Phase I & Limited Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (July 18, 2013)

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