Gulfport Fertilizer Site

Location: Gulfport, Mississippi
Services: Environmental

The Gulfport Fertilizer Site manufactured super-phosphate fertilizer from 1914 – 1921. The super-phosphate process involved spraying limestone aggregate with sulfuric acid to leach phosphate from the aggregate. The sulfuric acid was then processed to remove the phosphate. The processed limestone aggregate (referred to as “slag”) was then placed in outside storage areas. The “slag” was subjected to rainfall which washed the remaining sulfuric acid and lead from the aggregate. The lead was concentrated in both the soil and groundwater at the site. The sulfuric acid leached naturally-occuring arsenic contained in the soil at the site and concentrated the arsenic along drainage paths from the slag storage areas.

The site continued to be used for industrial activities until the mid-1970’s when the site was abandoned. In the early 1990’s existing industrial buildings on the property were demolished in order to market the property for other uses. Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) performed on the property indicated the potential presence of contamination on the property. An initial Site Characterization Study identified soil and groundwater contamination for lead and arsenic. CCE was engaged to expand the Site Characterization Study and to work with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to identify and address the environmental issues on the site and to gain a “No Further Action” (NFA) letter.

CCE performed an expanded Site Characterization Study, which further defined on-site soil and groundwater contamination and determined that contamination had migrated onto adjacent property. After the adjacent property was acquired by the Gulfport Fertilizer Site owner, CCE expanded the Site Characterization Study to define the limits of contamination on both the on-site and newly acquired off-site property. Sixteen (16) monitoring wells were installed to delineate the groundwater contamination and to monitor the migration of the groundwater contamination plume.

CCE negotiated a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) with the MDEQ which included:

  • Removal and treatment of lead-contaminated soil and disposal of treated soil in a non-hazardous, permitted landfill;
  • Capping of approximately 8 acres of the site with 12-inches of compacted clay, overlaid with 12-inches of topsoil to prevent leaching of lead and arsenic into the groundwater; and
  • Continued monitoring of groundwater monitoring wells for nine (9) years.

After groundwater monitoring is completed, CCE will negotiate a “No Further Action” (NFA) letter from MDEQ for the site.