An Overview of the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Columbus Superfund Site


The Former Kerr-McGee Site in Columbus, Mississippi


Background and history

Wood treating operations at the Site, located at 2300 14th Avenue North in Columbus, Mississippi, were started in 1928 by the T.J. Moss Tie Company, and ended when Kerr-McGee shut down its plant in 2003.

During operations, raw timber was brought to the Site by rail and stored in the Pine Yard and at several locations on the Main Plant. Creosote, pentachlorophenol and other chemicals were used to pressure-treat the raw timber for use as railroad ties and other wood products.

The wood treating operations released creosote and other hazardous materials into the soil, stormwater ditch sediment and groundwater on and off the Site.


Multistate Trust Takes Charge of the Former Kerr-McGee Site

The Multistate Trust owns and is responsible for managing and cleaning up the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Columbus Superfund Site in Columbus, Mississippi, and hundreds of other contaminated sites in the United States.

The former Kerr-McGee Site in Columbus is among 25 major, federal and state hazardous waste properties that the Multistate Trust is cleaning up and positioning for safe, productive redevelopment and long-term stewardship, using funds earmarked for each site.

Visit to learn more about the Multistate Trust.


A Timeline of the Former Kerr-McGee Site

Workers 2.jpg

Earmarked Funds

Cleanup funds were provided by the companies responsible for site contamination—not by the U.S. government nor by tax dollars. Funding came from the Tronox bankruptcy settlement, including proceeds from a settlement of fraud claims against Kerr-McGee and related subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

When the Multistate Trust was created in 2011, initial funding was provided to maintain basic Site activities, such as continued operation of the groundwater recovery and treatment system, and to perform a limited investigation of areas around the Site to determine if the community was being exposed to chemicals from former wood treating operations.

In 2015, the receipt of significant additional funds from the Anadarko litigation allowed the Multistate Trust to begin proactively investigating and taking remedial actions at the Site in Columbus.

The Multistate Trust can use the Trust funds only for environmental actions, such as Site investigations, studies, design and cleanup actions, operations, maintenance and redevelopment planning. Trust funds cannot be used for other purposes, including the actual redevelopment of the Site, or compensating people for health effects associated with the Site.

Visit the Multistate Trust website.


Existing Site Conditions

The former Kerr-McGee Site remains vacant and largely open. It contains one structure south of 14th Avenue North. A timber stand exists on the Pine Yard.

See the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Potential for Future Reuse: Kerr-McGee (Columbus) Property.”


The Tronox Tort Claims Trust

Not part of the Investigation, Cleanup and redevelopment

As a result of the Tronox bankruptcy proceedings, two separate Trusts were created. The Multistate Environmental Response Trust (the Multistate Trust) was created to perform investigations, cleanup and redevelopment planning at the former Kerr-McGee Site in Columbus.

The second Trust the Tronox Tort Claims Trust, which is sometimes referred to as the Garretson Trust was established to pay claims associated with private property damage or claims from people with adverse health effects from exposure to contaminants from Kerr-McGee sites throughout the United States.

Visit the Tronox Tort Claims Trust website, or contact the Tort Claims Trust by email at, or by phone at (800) 753-2480.

The Multistate Trust, EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) have no involvement in the Tronox Tort Claims Trust.


Join us for our next

Public Meeting