Projects: Demonstration Site in North Carolina- Using Mixed Trees to Contain Fuel-Contaminated Groundwater

Project Site
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, United States
North Carolina State University  
Contact Person
Elizabeth Nichols, Ph.D.,
Purpose of Project

A mixed hybrid poplar, willow, and loblolly pine system of 3,100 trees was planted at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Facility in Elizabeth City, NC, USA. This is a demonstration site for the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources as part of the US EPA 319 Program. The main objective is to prevent the groundwater migration of fuels from former storage areas to the Pasquotank River. Soil gas analyses show an 85% reduction of total petroleum hydrocarbons from February 2007 to July 2010; groundwater concentrations of BTEX are below regulatory levels at key groundwater wells.

Project Durarion
In progress since March 2006
Project Status
Project Media
Groundwater: other
Contaminant categories
PAH’s and TPH - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons
Health/exposure concerns
Fuel-contaminated groundwater may migrate to the Pasquotank River, which may be used for irrigation or drinking water sources.
Phytotechnology mechanism
phytodegradation, phytoextraction, phytohydraulics
Plant Species
Hybrid Poplars, Willows, Loblolly Pine
Remediation Enhancing Additives
Project Scale
Full Scale
Remediation Location
In Situ
Remediation volumn/area
20,234 m
Project Costs
$ 1.84 per m2
Secondary Value/Uses for Project Land and Plants


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