Reading Time: 3 minutes

Site Location

Street Address:

Announcements and Key Topics

This site has been deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL).  Because no hazardous wastes remain on site, no further Five-Year Reviews will be conducted. No further cleanup activities are anticipated. This Site Profile Page will remain available for historical purposes but will not be updated.


The Newsom Brothers/Old Reichhold Chemicals site is located in Columbia, Mississippi. It includes an area where several companies produced wood derivatives from 1936 to 1977. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 because of contaminated groundwater, soil and sediment resulting from facility operations. EPA, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination.

EPA took the site off the NPL in 2000. Additional work is not expected at this site.

What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The 81-acre site is located in Columbia in Marion County, Mississippi. The site includes the North Pond area, which is located in the northeast corner of the site. Fencing surrounds the North Pond area and vegetation covers the area. Residential areas border the site to the north, east and south. Residential areas include low-income and minority residents. Commercial businesses border the site to the west.

  • From the early 1930s until 1943, J.J. White Lumber Company operated a sawmill at the site. From 1936 until 1951, several companies operated at the site, producing wood derivatives such as resin, turpentine, pine oil and tall oil. Operations grinded pine stumps and digested them with a boiling liquor.
  • In 1975, Reichhold Chemicals purchased the site property and used the area to mix pentachlorophenol with diesel oil.
  • In 1977, an explosion and fire in one of the boiler units destroyed most of the facility and operations ended.
  • In 1984 and 1987, EPA performed two emergency cleanup actions at the site. In 1984, EPA removed 600 drums and drained two on-site ponds. In 1987, EPA removed 1,920 tons of contaminated soil and 3,900 empty and partially filled drums.
  • The site’s PRPs completed the three-year groundwater monitoring program in 1999. EPA and MDEQ confirmed that groundwater contamination did not pose a threat to people and the environment.
  • Following the completion of cleanup activities, EPA took the site off the NPL in 2000. The site’s deletion notice states that, “with concurrence of the Mississippi DEQ, EPA has determined that all appropriate responses under CERCLA have been completed, and that no further action is necessary.”

The 81-acre Newsom Brothers/Old Reichhold site is in Marion County, Columbia, Mississippi. Site activities included producing tall oils, turpentine, calcium and zinc resinates, and polymerized and rubber resins. Furthermore, PCP was apparently mixed with diesel oil and sold, and xylenes were used in a number of processes. A State investigation in 1976 revealed that waste water containing phenols, oil, and grease was discharging to a small creek. Further investigations resulted in EPA performing an immediate removal action in 1984, which included the removal of over 600 surface drums from the site and excavating and draining two ponds, one of which was subsequently filled with clean fill. Onsite buried drum areas were the target of another EPA removal action conducted in 1987-88. In addition there is an extensive system of concrete drains that served to collect and drain spilled wastes and rain water that has an area of runoff of approximately 300,000 square feet. The primary contaminants of concern in the soil, sediment, and bulked wastes are organics including PAHs, PCBs, and PCP, and metals.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (USA). Office of Emergency and Remedial Response
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6915579
Report Number(s):
PB-90-178880/XAB; EPA/ROD/R–04-89/050
Back to: Post Salesperson Course > Environmental Hazards