Alcoa Primary Metals (Alcoa) began operations at the Badin Works facility in 1915 as a primary aluminum smelter. Production was curtailed in 2002 and the facility was closed in 2010.

Badin Lake Alcoa PCB Cleanup

Badin Lake, North Carolina

The ALCOA site in North Carolina has been a center of tension over the years, in connection with the contamination of the Yadkin River and the adjacent Badin Lake. The contamination concerns revolve around harmful substances entering the river system, primarily PCBs which are known for causing irreparable damage to environmental and human health.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and The North Carolina Division of Waste Management (DWM) are two of many organizations working in conjunction with the US EPA Region 4 (Superfund Division) investigating PCB concentrations in sediment and fish tissue in the Yadkin river system.

Elevated concentrations of PCBs, cyanide and fluoride have all been detected at Badin Lake. Their source is also cause for major concern since they are linked to the Alcoa aluminum plant, which has since closed as of 2010. PCBs have been linked to reproductive impairment and developmental abnormalities in fish, birds and humans.

The ALCOA plant has made a proposal for capping the contaminated areas of Badin Lake in an effort to seal the contaminated matter in place. Solid waste management units (SMUs) have been associated with the disposal of PCBs and PCB contaminated material and are used in conjunction with other remedies to contain or reduce contamination and limit additional migration of the contaminants. This is widely accepted as being a more effective method of remediation than capping.

Presently, laboratory analysis is being conducted by the EPA to completely assess the contaminant concentrations. With these results, the most prudent course of action can be planned and remediation efforts maximized. Once the North Carolina Division of Public Health has completed their evaluation, the study results will be released to the agencies involved.

Environmental Stewardship Concepts is serving as the Technical Advisor for the Yadkin Riverkeeper, assisting in reviewing documentation and seeking sustainable alternative remediation methods for Badin Lake. ESC has partnered with the Yadkin Riverkeeper, Dean Naujoks and the community to ensure than the appropriate and most effective cleanup activities are being conducted.


To read more about the history and documents available on the pollution of Badin Lake, click here.

Click here to go to the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources site for a database of Alcoa public notices, documents, and fact sheets.

The Yadkin Riverkeeper held a joint meeting with North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and members of the Badin Community July 21, 12. Click here to view Peter’s presentation on PCBs and their effects on Badin Lake

ESC Documents

ESC Factsheet about Badin Lake fish consumption.