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The UNC Research Translation Core (UNC RTC) and the Health Assessment Consultation and Education (HACE) program of the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) partnered on this project to learn more about the needs and concerns of communities living near Superfund sites in North Carolina.

Study sites and community interview process

Horton Iron & Metal Co.

Wright Chemical Corp.

Community engagement recommendations

Researchers interviewed community members living near two newly-designated National Priorities List (NPL) sites to explore the community’s knowledge, perceptions of risk, and concerns about public health near hazardous waste sites.

Officials perform a site visit at the Horton Iron & Metal Co. site.
Officials perform a site visit at the Horton Iron & Metal Co. site.

The sites that were selected for this project were added to the NPL in 2011. The NPL is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) list of sites that are national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.
The two sites selected for this project were:

  1. Horton Iron & Metal Co., Wilmington, New Hanover County, NC; and
  2. Wright Chemical Corp., Riegelwood, Columbus County, NC.

Find out more about other NPL sites in North Carolina.
The specific aims of this project were to:

  • Identify the community’s concerns and need for information related to environmental health and other risks associated with the sites;
  • Identify potential routes of exposure near the sites;
  • Contribute to the development of a plan for community engagement at each site; and
  • Generate recommendations for implementing the ATSDR community engagement guidance.

This project also helped to identify community priorities related to site information and cleanup, differences in perceptions of risk related to the sites, and the best ways to share site information with the communities. It is our goal to use this information to improve outreach and education to these and other communities living near hazardous wastes sites in North Carolina and to enhance plans for community engagement and site remediation in these communities.

Read more about the community interview process.
View the community engagement recommendations generated from this project.