The Kerr-McGee Chem Corp site is located within the city limits of Navassa, North Carolina, along the banks of Sturgeon Creek. The property consists of 242 acres; however, the total area used in the manufacturing process was approximately 100 acres along Navassa Road and Sturgeon Creek. The site is currently unoccupied.
The Kerr-McGee Chem Corp site was operated as a wood treating facility from 1936 until 1974. Dried lumber was pressure treated with a creosote solution. The creosote was stored in above-ground tanks, and treated lumber was stored outside until dry. The wood treatment process generated wastewater which was treated onsite. A conjoined pair of unlined settling ponds was used to separate and reclaim creosote. The site was dismantled in 1980. Creosote in the settling ponds was reclaimed, but creosote sludge from the ponds and product storage tanks was mixed with soil and disposed of back into the wastewater ponds.
Sturgeon Creek wetlands sediments are contaminated with creosote and creosote-related semi-volatile organic compounds, including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Sturgeon Creek is a fishery and creosote and creosote- related compounds are known to bioaccumulate in the food chain. Sturgeon Creek flows for approximately 0.5 miles before the confluence with the Brunswick River, and the Brunswick River joins with the Cape Fear River approximately 4 miles from the site. Sturgeon Creek, and the brackish Brunswick and Cape Fear estuaries, contain fisheries, extensive wetlands frontage and additional sensitive environments.