Public Comment and Fact Sheet About Remediation at DuPont Donut Hole

The plan for remediation at the donut hole inside DuPont Forest is nearing final approval.  A public comment period is open from October 21 to December 5.

The recent Public Notice from NC Waste Management includes an extensive Fact Sheet about the property for those wanting to learn more about the more.

Friends of DuPont Forest and the DuPont State Advisory Committee have been generally supportive of the plan for the property.  See background information.

Forest receives gift of 476 acre ‘Donut Hole’

In an exciting development built on years of work, the DuPont Company has gifted the 476-acre tract of land in the very center of the forest to the state of North Carolina.  The tract is the site of the former DuPont film plant owned that at one time employed more than 1000 local people and operated for more than 40 years.

The property is important because it allows DuPont State Recreational Forest to control development and activities in close proximity to Bridal Veil Falls, High Falls, and the Visitors Center. It also has the potential to provide excellent trail connections, such as a much faster way to get to Bridal Veil Falls. Local lawmakers are also discussing other benefits, such as additional parking and swimming at Lake DERA, the lake once used by DuPont employees.

This development was possible thanks to cooperation and steady work by DuPont management, local lawmakers, including Chuck McGrady and Chris Whitmire, and Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler.  The agreement will allow the NC National Guard to use the former industrial site for training and other logistics.  The site has been undergoing environmental study and remediation since the closing in 2002.

See important information published in links below.

 

More Information

DuPont Corp. gifts ‘Donut Hole’ to state
Hendersonville Lightning 9/14/2016

State Dept of Environmental Quality page about site remediation

Notice about property environmental remediation

FAQ from NC Forest Service about plans for property

Friends of DuPont Forest supports Remediation Plan for Forest

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

Fabulous News for the Forest

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

by Nancy Kay

The NC state budget has been finalized and it’s all fantastic news for DuPont State Recreational Forest. The initial House budget called for substantial financial support for the Forest, but the Senate version allocated no funding whatsoever. Special thanks to Representative Chuck McGrady and Senator Tom Apodaca for doing the nudging needed to help Senate members come to their senses.

In a recent general assembly bulletin, NC Representative Chuck McGrady reported:

After many long days and nights, the budget is finally done. The Conference Committee reconciled the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget, and it was publicly released. This conferenced version of the budget cannot be amended.

Now, here’s the wonderful news. The budget provides $629,335 in recurring funds to support nine positions and associated operating expenses at DuPont State Recreational Forest. Additionally, the budget earmarks $3,000,000 (yep, you read all those zeros correctly!) for the construction and improvement of additional bathrooms, utilities, and parking lots.

These funds will allow development of infrastructure within the Forest to help support its massive and ever growing visitation. The major bathroom project will be at Hooker Falls. This should alleviate the need for visitors to relieve themselves amongst the trees and shrubs along the trail.

Now, let the construction begin!

Public Hearing Concerns Remediation at “Donut Hole” Inside DuPont Forest

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REMEDIATE

Risk-Based RemediationPursuant to Part 8 of Article 9 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes

Former DuPont Brevard Site

1300 Staton Road

Cedar Mountain, Transylvania County, North Carolina

EPA ID No. NCD 003 152 329

This is a notice to the public of a request by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) to pursue remediation of the contamination at the Former DuPont Brevard Facility (site) using site-specific remediation standards as opposed to unrestricted use standards. Contaminated site media include groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water. Information about the nature and extent of the contamination at the site is presented in the Remedial Investigation Report which is available electronically for review at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/hazardous-waste-section/dupont-facility-brevard-nc.

DuPont has been performing investigation and remediation activities at the site since the 1990s. The site was used to produce high purity silicon from 1957 to 1962 and medical imaging (X-ray films) from 1962 to 2002. Approx-imately 1,100 samples were collected at the site during four comprehensive investigations and numerous remedial actions have been completed. Key remedial actions include demolition and removal activities of the former plant, removal and recycling/relocation of X-ray film waste, installation of cap/covers over former landfill/disposal areas, and installation of a groundwater treatment system for the DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) Visitor Center water supply well. To satisfy additional remedial action objectives for the site, active remediation is proposed at two evaluation units (Solid Waste Management Unit [SWMU] 11 and SWMU 17. A vegetative cap will be designed and installed for final closure of SWMU 11 and in-situ solidification/stabilization for soil and waste will be designed and installed within SWMU 17. Institutional controls and engineering controls (e.g., fencing) will also be implemented throughout the site. Site investigations and proposed additional remedial actions are documented in reports that are available for review at the Transyl-vania County Library in Brevard, North Carolina and online at: http://www.uspioneer.com/projects/FormerDupontBrevardFacility/download.htm.

DuPont is preparing a remedial action plan in accordance with N.C.G.S. 130A-310.65 through 310.77 which allows use of site-specific remediation standards that are expected to pose no unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Once the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) approves the proposed remedial action plan, a second Public Notice will be issued providing for a 45-day public comment period.

In addition, a public meeting will be held on Thursday June 23rd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Rogow Room at the Transylvania Public Library. Information about the proposed remediation action plan will be presented during the meeting. DuPont representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments from the public. Comments received on or before July 25, 2016 will be incorporated, as appropriate, in the remedial action plan.

For more information or if you would like to submit a comment, please contact:

Mr. Jamie VanBuskirk

DuPont Corporate Remediation Group

6324 Fairview Road

Charlotte, NC 28210

704.362.6626

Jamie.A.Vanbuskirk@dupont.com

T/5/26/1TP-62332

FODF Supports Proposed Remediation Plan For “Donut Hole”

Our previous post included the public notice for a public hearing on the proposed remediation plan for the 420 acre “donut hole” inside DuPont State Recreational Forest.  This tract was originally an industrial site (DuPont) and has been in environmental study and remediation for the past 14 years.

The proposed plan has been presented to both Friends of DuPont Forest and the DuPont State Forest Advisory Committee for review.  Neither organization has expressed concerns about the plan, and FODF president Bev Parlier stated that her organization supports the proposal.    The remediation plan is focused toward the proposed transfer of the property to the Division of Forest Resources, and is predicated on certain restrictions on the future use of the tract (such as non-residential use).

The Division of Environmental Quality has posted detailed technical information about the proposed remediation plan, which is the subject of the Public Hearing on June 23rd.

Additionally, the following Frequently Asked Questions has been posted on the NC Forest Service website about the future of the 420 acre tract inside DuPont State Recreational Forest.

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Preserving Forest Is Goal of Fees Proposal

At the April 19th Annual Meeting for FODF, Forest Supervisor Jason Guidry outlined a user fee proposal to help manage surging growth, pay for needed facility upgrades and protect delicate habitats.

This proposal has been made after consultation with the DuPont State Recreational Forest Advisory Committee and the Friends of DuPont Forest, both of which are supportive of the need for a fee structure. Both Guidry and FODF President Bev Parlier highlighted the critical need for bathroom facilities at the popular Hooker Falls Access, which is often overrun with people at peak times. After a question and answer session, which clarified that funds would be used locally to address the needs of surging visitation, those attending the meeting were generally supportive.

Learn more about the fee proposal at Blue Ridge Now article dated April 20th.

Forest announces temporary trail closures starting in May to protect blue ghost fireflies

RALEIGH – DuPont State Recreational Forest will be closing several trails at the High Falls Access Area to prevent further impacts to blue ghost firefly populations. The closures will take place at night from mid-May through early June.

The temporary trail closures are in response to an overwhelming number of visitors during the 2015 blue ghost season, typically a three-week period in late spring. Forest officials observed a high level of habitat disturbance and disruption by the large nighttime crowds, which could have long-term impacts on local populations of fireflies. Forest officials ask that the public observe trail closure signs and stay out of closed areas.

“Our mission is to protect all forest resources, including the blue ghost habitat, so that everyone can continue to enjoy and benefit from these unique insects,” said Jason Guidry, forest supervisor. “The blue ghost fireflies are known to exist across the southern Appalachians. However, DuPont State Recreational Forest has become synonymous with the firefly through social media and news articles in recent years.”

Other public lands in neighboring counties are likely to offer nighttime viewing opportunities for the blue ghost firefly without the crowding, Guidry said.

The Friends of DuPont Forest supports the trail closures and has suspended its annual guided tours of the insects.

“The FODF’s mission is to enhance the enjoyment of all that the forest has to offer while protecting its natural resources,” said Bev Parlier, the group’s president. “To support the N.C. Forest Service, the FODF has decided to temporarily suspend our guided tours of the blue ghost fireflies.”

Information about the trail closures can be found at forest kiosks, at the DuPont State Recreational Forest Visitor Center and on the forest’s website, http://ncforestservice.gov/Contacts/dsf.htm.

Tour de Falls scheduled Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7 & 8th

The popular waterfalls tour of DuPont waterfalls has been scheduled for Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7 & 8th.

DuPont State Recreational Forest
Mother’s Day Tour: May 7 & 8, 2016
Fall Tour: October 8 & 9, 2016
9:00 am – 2:30 pm

More Information:

Friends to Celebrate 15 Year Anniversary of DuPont Waterfalls

The Friends of DuPont will celebrate the 15th anni-versary of the state’s acquisition of “The Heart of the Forest” Saturday, Dec. 19, from 1-3 p.m. at the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center. There will be a special DuPont cake and hot cider, as well as recollections of what occurred 15 years ago.


Take a look back at the highly controversial “fight for the waterfalls” in our Friends of the Falls history page.

New National Geographic Waterproof Map Released in Cooperation with FODF

Friends of DuPont Forest has partnered with National Geographic to create a Trails Illustrated Topographic Map of DuPont State Recreational Forest. This map includes suggested routes highlighted with descriptions and elevation profiles. Routes were designed by FODF members and can be used by all users of the forest.

Learn more about new map!