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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Waste Management - Inactive Hazardous Sites

Waste Management

Inactive Hazardous Sites Program

The Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch, within the Superfund Section of the DWM, is responsible for oversight and approval of the assessment and remediation of all historical, and any recent accidental releases of hazardous substances and pollutants with the exceptions outlined below.  The Branch oversees remedial actions, conducts any necessary enforcement at sites deemed to be the highest priority, and conducts the work itself at orphaned sites when state resources are available for such.

Exceptions (the agency having jurisdiction is noted):

  • Contamination resulting from permitted activities or those that should have been permitted, intentional illegal discharges, and accidental discharges the result of willful neglect of regulations – The applicable permitting/regulatory agency would have jurisdiction
  • Hazardous waste spills (was a hazardous waste and not a product before the discharge) – DWM Hazardous Waste Section
  • RCRA permitted sites - DWM Hazardous Waste Section
  • Currently or formerly (closed after 1982) permitted solid waste landfills - DWM Solid Waste Section
  • Petroleum spills – DWM Underground Storage Tank Section
  • Federal Superfund cleanup of National Priorities List sites and NPL-caliber sites under special agreements with the US EPA – DWM Superfund Section’s Federal Remediation Branch
  • Federal Superfund emergency response cleanup – DWM Superfund Section’s Federal Remediation Branch
  • Remedial action of dry cleaner sites (voluntary participants) – DWM Superfund Section’s Special Remediation Branch
  • Manufactured gas plant sites participating in state initiative – DWM Superfund Section’s Special Remediation Branch
  • Naturally occurring contamination – DWR Aquifer Protection Section
  • Contamination due to agricultural operations – DWR Aquifer Protection Section
  • Pollutant contamination in drinking water wells due to faulty construction  – DWR Aquifer Protection Section 

The Branch has a separate program for addressing pre-regulatory non-industrial landfills that ceased accepting waste before 1983.  The Branch conducts the assessment and remediation of these sites directly.  Local governments may conduct the assessment work and seek reimbursement of expenses if the work was pre-approved by the Branch.  Click on the link for the Pre-Regulatory Landfill Unit on the left side of the page for more information.

The Branch also manages the Bernard Allen Memorial Drinking Water Fund.  This Fund is used to sample potentially contaminated private residential wells and to provide alternate drinking water to lower income homeowners with affected wells.  More information can be found by clicking on the link for the Bernard Allen Legislative Report on the left side of the page.

The Registered Environmental Consultant Program is the Branch's program for privatized oversight of lower priority cases having parties wanting to voluntarily conduct contaminant assessment and remediation.  More information on the REC Program can be found by clicking on the link on the left. 

Note that often people are confused by the name of the Branch and the Act.  “Inactive Hazardous Sites” by definition are any areas where a hazardous substance release has come to be located and would include active and inactive facilities and a variety of property types.  The term “inactive” refers to the fact that cleanup was inactive at large numbers of sites at the time of program enactment.
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