Coal Ash Disposal Site Remediation Project

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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 www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=2311. 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.
  • 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.
  • In March 2014, the Town’s environmental consultants conducted preliminary testing of groundwater samples and found elevated levels of several coal ash related metals in one of two down-gradient 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.
  • In September 2014 NC DENR requested that the Town develop two new replacement down-gradient monitoring wells to provide additional groundwater sampling results.
  • In August 2015, the Town’s environmental consultants provided NC DENR with the most recent groundwater sampling results from the replacement monitoring wells. These samples found no elevated levels of coal ash related metals in the groundwater.
  • In October 2015, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), which is the new name for what was previously NC DENR, provided the Town with responses to the August 2015 sampling results. NC DEQ has requested that the Town provide some additional information including a supplemental surface soil test and a winter resampling of the groundwater monitoring wells. As the Town has done previously, we will follow NC DEQ’s guidance.

Letter from Lance Norris to NC DEQ (May 19, 2016)

Email from Lance Norris to Roger Stancil on Soil Testing (May 18, 2016)

Letter from Southern Environmental Law Center on Soil Testing (May 13, 2016)

Letter from NC DEQ requesting Phase II of remedial investigation under supervision of Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch (May 5, 2016)

Letter from Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Friends of Bolin Creek to NC DEQ (May 3, 2016)

Letter from NC DEQ on soil sample evaluation (May 2, 2016)

Response from Environmental Consultant (April 21, 2106)

List of Concerns about April 1 Update

Email from Lance Norris to Roger Stancil (April 4, 2016)

Environmental Site Characterization Report (April 1, 2016)

Letter from NCDEQ on Bolin Creek Greenway (Feb. 11, 2016)

Email update from Lance Norris to Roger Stancil (Feb. 18, 2016)

NC DEQ Response to Revised Environmental Site Characterization Report for Police Station Property (Oct. 23, 2015)

NC DEQ Response to Sept. 10, 2015, letter from Southern Environmental Law Center (Oct. 23, 2015)

Response to Comments from Falcon Engineering (Sept. 16, 2015)

Letter on behalf of Friends of Bolin Creek from the Southern Environmental Law Center to NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Town of Chapel Hill (Sept. 10, 2015)

Environmental Site Characterization (Aug. 18, 2015)

Phase 1 Remedial Investigation Work Plan (revised) (April 14, 2015)

Responses to Friends of Bolin Creek Dec. 26 2014 Letter (Jan. 30, 2015)

Letter from Friends of Bolin Creek on Work Plan (Dec. 26, 2014)

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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