GIS Map of Potential Contaminant Sources in North Carolina

This GIS map was created by the Research Translation Core of the Duke University Superfund Research Center, with the help of various collaborators. It compiles publicly available databases to provide a broad picture of potential sources of environmental contamination across the state. 

After Hurricane Florence in September 2018, the Research Translation Core added hurricane-related incidents along with floodplain data for North Carolina to this map. 

The purpose of the map is to raise awareness about chemical contaminants that may have entered the environment during a flood, and to help individuals think through methods for reducing or preventing potential exposure to harmful chemicals. It is based on exposure screening tools like the Environmental Protection Agency’s EJ SCREEN tool and this map from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. It may also inform decisions about whether to pursue additional testing for contaminants, and which specific contaminants to test for. 

This is not a complete picture of all potential sources of contamination. It merely offers a snapshot of publicly available data as of early October in 2018.

Simply being close to a potential source of contamination and in a flood zone does not necessarily mean that your area has been contaminated. Ultimately, the best way to know for sure what is in your soil, water, or other media, is to perform testing for contaminants if you think there may be a serious concern.

Click here to access the ArcGIS online map application.  

Feel free to use and share the map widely, and get in touch if you have questions by emailing


List of Potential Sources of Contamination to Consider

Below is a list of some common potential sources of contamination in our communities that you might encounter on our map, or otherwise consider as you explore your area for “hot spots” of concern following the storm. Click each one to expand the description.

These potential sources are meant to raise awareness about the possibility that chemical contaminants may have entered the environment during a flood and help you think through ways to reduce potential exposure.

Note that simply being close to one of these potential sources of contamination does not necessarily mean that there is a high risk of exposure to chemicals.

Housing built before 1978
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites
Superfund sites
Dry cleaning facilities
Underground storage tanks (RUST)
Hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities
Pre-regulatory landfills
Major roadways
Coal ash storage ponds
Agricultural lands, or land applied with “biosolids”
Places where debris such as treated wood is being burned for disposal


Step 1: Find Your Location

  • To use this map, first type in any street address in North Carolina in the address bar: 
  • Alternatively, you can click the “What’s Near Me?” icon in the top right,  and either enter an address or click on the map marker until it turns a dark color. Then click any point on the map to see some potential sources of contamination within 1 mile of that point. You can adjust the slider bar to see results that are up to 5 miles away. Click on any site that you see listed in the “What’s Near Me?” box in the top right of the map for more information on that site. The 1-5 mile range is meant to give you a sense of potential contaminant sources near your home or work and in an area you might travel on a day-to-day basis.

Step 2: Explore the map layers

  • Click on this icon to see the list of map “layers”: 
  • Some layers may appear in gray instead of black text at first, but it doesn’t mean they are not there! This just means you will need to zoom in closer in order to see those layers. We do this so that the map never looks too cluttered with dots and other shapes.
  • Map layers can be “turned on” or off by clicking the checkbox next to the layer name. Turning off layers might make it easier to see layers that you are especially interested in.
  • Click on any dot or shaded-area you see that appears on the map for more information about it. To see the map legend, click on this icon: 
  • Note that many of these layers are static and may not be updated, including the “NC DEQ Hurricane Florence incident response” layer. Please contact your area’s solid waste manager if you have questions about a specific incident that you view on this map layer near your location

Step 3: Communicate

If you have questions, concerns, comments, or need help, please feel free to contact us at Feel free to share this map with others.