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GREENVILLE, S.C. (Sept. 20, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a partial deletion of the US Finishing/Cone Mills Superfund site from Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL), benefitting the environment, the community of Greenville, and the people of South Carolina.
The partial deletion at the US Finishing/Cone Mills site includes the six areas (Permitted Sludge Landfill, Langston Creek, Reedy River, Northern Reservoir, Northwestern Reservoir, and Forested Tract) collectively known as Operable Unit 2 (OU2) on the site. NPL site deletions help communities move forward in reusing and redeveloping the land by making it clear that cleanup is complete.
Nationally, EPA’s announcement finalizes the deletion of 9 sites and the partial deletion of 11 sites from Superfund’s National Priorities List. With this action, EPA has deleted all or part of 25 sites from the NPL in fiscal year 2021, signaling to communities that cleanup of the contamination is complete and allowing them to move forward in reusing and redeveloping the land.
“This partial deletion represents a significant milestone that EPA and our partners are making to clean up contaminated property and return the land to productive use,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. “A successful cleanup improves human health and the environment while also supporting economic growth.”
The 259-acre US Finishing/Cone Mills Superfund site is located in Greenville, South Carolina. It includes an area used for various manufacturing operations from 1903 to 2003. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011 because of contaminated surface water, groundwater and sediment resulting from facility operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site to protect people and the environment from contamination.
The Site is divided into three Operable Units (OU), based on the historic operations: OU1 – Main Facility; OU2 – Off Main Facility; OU3 – groundwater. In April 2021, the Record of Decision determined that approximately 150 acres of the site did not pose a risk to human health or the environment and did not require remedial action. Currently, the entire site is under a purchase and sale agreement by a development company that plans to reuse the site as a live, work, and play community resource. The State of South Carolina will transition the parcels from the Superfund Program into the State Brownfields Program for redevelopment.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. EPA deletes sites or parts of sites from the NPL when no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment. Years, and sometimes decades, of complex investigation and cleanup work have gone into getting these sites to where they are today.
While EPA encourages site reuse throughout the cleanup process, deletions from the NPL can revitalize communities, raise property values, and promote economic growth by signaling to potential developers and financial institutions that cleanup is complete. This can be especially impactful for disadvantaged and over-burdened communities.
When hazardous substances and pollutants or contaminants remain on a site above levels that permit unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, EPA conducts follow-up reviews every five years—even after NPL deletion—to ensure Superfund remedies continue to protect people and the environment. These reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the remedy to determine whether it remains protective of human health and the environment.
Additional information on the US Finishing/Cone Mills Superfund site: www.epa.gov/superfund/usfinishing-conemills-superfund-site
Additional information about EPA’s NPL deletions: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/deleted-national-priorities-list-npl-sites-state
To search for information about these and other NPL sites, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live
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