The Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation (now known as Tronox, Inc.) operated a wood-preserving plant in Columbus, Mississippi, from 1928 to 2003. The plant covers about 90 acres and is surrounded by a mix of homes and businesses, including schools and daycare facilities.
The company manufactured pressure-treated railroad products such as wooden cross ties, switch ties, and timbers. The production processes at the plant used creosote and creosote coal tar solutions. EPA placed the Kerr-McGee Site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011 because of contaminated groundwater, sediment and soil resulting from operations at the facility.
In 2002, ATSDR received a petition from a community member who was concerned about potential health effects from exposures to hazardous substances associated with the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation. ATSDR met with the petitioner and the community to gather health concerns related to the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation.
ATSDR decided to prepare a public health assessment (PHA) to evaluate available environmental data about hazardous substances in soil, sediment, and surface water on or near the Kerr-McGee Chemical facility. This assessment informs the community if exposures are occurring and if health effects could result from those exposures. The health assessment lists actions, as needed, to be taken to protect the public’s health.
The public comment version of this PHA was released in September 2008. ATSDR received numerous comments from the public and other third parties. Comments received during the public comment period are addressed in this final version of the PHA.