About the Property
1. What is the current status of the property at 828 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.?
The Town of Chapel Hill (in conjunction with environmental engineering firms) completed phase I and phase II Remedial Investigation reports for the property at 828 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. The Town is now in the process of preparing options for the Town Council to determine the future of the property. Staff are working on preparing a state brownfields application as an option for Council to consider in September.
2. Why did the 828 property need an environmental assessment?
While conducting an asset study of several Town owned properties in late 2012, the current Town staff learned that the 828 property was located on the site of a former landfill. When the Town identified this landfill, it promptly notified the NCDEQ and is working closely with them to continually assess the situation and identify proper measures to protect the health and safety of the community and ecosystem. Further investigation revealed that the landfill contains construction debris, and coal combustion products (CCPs), commonly known as coal ash, were then placed above the debris for structural fill.
3. What are CCPs?
Coal Combustion Products or CCPs, commonly known as coal ash, are the by-products generated from burning coal.
4. Who is responsible for creating the coal ash?
Before the Town acquired the property, it was managed as a private facility. As a result, the Town does not have records that would indicate the direct sources of the coal ash. As the current owner of the property, the Town is taking responsibility to move forward with a remedial action plan and is exploring the North Carolina brownfields program as a potential path for site reuse.
5. where will the police station move to?
The police station would move to the Municipal Services Center, currently in planning stages. For more information on this project, please visit the Town website
Analysis & Impact
6. What was involved as part of the environmental assessment?
The Town’s environmental assessment spanned five years and included two in-depth investigations. All work plans were approved by the NCDEQ:
• A Phase I Remedial Investigation was conducted by Falcon Engineering from 2013 to 2016.
• A Phase II Remedial Investigation was conducted by Hart & Hickman from 2016 to 2017.
7. What did the investigations evaluate?
The investigations evaluated the nature and extent of soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment impacts associated with the previous placement of CCPs at the site. Data was collected through collection and analysis of soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water samples.
8. What did the investigations find?
Certain metals associated with coal combustion products (CCP’s) were found in the soil and ground water samples. In addition, CCPs were found to exist beneath a coil cap over the majority of the upland portions of the property, along an embankment, and the pedestrian trail.
9. Are there any health risks or concerns?
The CCPs and soil contamination on the upland portion of the site is not considered to represent a significant health risk because that area is covered with a soil cap and parking lot. A health risk evaluation performed by NCDEQ, based upon data collected on both the north and south sides of the Bolin Creek Trail, indicated that the risks of adverse health effects to residents and visitors are within acceptable levels set by NCDEQ. A fence was installed between the Bolin Creek Trail and the exposed areas to further minimize the potential for direct public contact with CCPs.
10. Has Bolin Creek been impacted?
Results of surface water and sediment sampling indicate that there is no significant impact to Bolin Creek.
11. What are the options for the property?
There are two voluntary cleanup programs that are available to address the contamination. One is through the NC Inactive Hazardous Sites Program and the other is through the Brownfields Program. Both programs are administered through the NC DEQ and both programs are entered on a voluntary basis. The options to address the contamination at the property consist of removal, capping, or a combination of removal and capping.
12. What is the Town’s plan?
The Town wants to take proactive measures to make the 828 property useful for possible redevelopment, while protecting the future health and safety of the community and the Bolin Creek ecosystem. The Town is conducting a public visioning process for possible land uses, preparing a preliminary evaluation of possible remediation costs, and evaluating the use of the , state brownfields program to facilitate safe reuse of the property. If the Council decides to move forward with brownfields redevelopment, the Town would consider options for retaining ownership of the area closest to the creek and the trail.
13. What is the North Carolina Brownfields Program?
NC DEQ’s Brownfields Program is specifically designed to facilitate the safe redevelopment of abandoned, idled or underused environmentally impacted properties, such as the 828 site.
14. What can be built on the 828 property?
No two contaminated sites are exactly alike, so limitations on use vary dependent on factors like topography and the nature of contamination. Should the Town move forward with redevelopment of the property, the NCDEQ will likely require some limitations on use, space, construction methodology and building placement.
Timeline & Public Feedback
15. Does the public have a say?
Yes. Under DEQ guidance, the Town’s environmental and land use consultants will consider public feedback and N.C. Brownfields Program requirements as they develop a high level land use concept and brownfields application. . Town Council will determine whether to proceed with submitting a brownfields application to the NCDEQ or to proceed with an alternative path.
16. What is the Town’s timetable for this project?
Following the visioning phase, a Remedial Action Plan is anticipated to be presented to the Town Council in early Fall 2018 and Council will determine how to proceed.
17. How can I share feedback?
During the initial visioning phase, the Town is collecting comments from the public on how the property could be used in the future, with an understanding of necessary limitations. Residents are invited to join a public information meeting on June 26 to learn more about the project and share their thoughts and comments. Feedback is also welcomed on the project’s website: www.futureof828.org throughout the initial visioning phase, now through August 1, 2018. We will continue to collect general project feedback on an ongoing basis. Additional public meetings will be held in August to share project progress and provide opportunities for public comments.