AVX Site Myrtle Beach - Overview & History

This webpage is no longer maintained. It may be useful as background information or to provide a historical perspective on a topic or project.  


The AVX site is located at 801 17th Avenue South in the City of Myrtle Beach, SC, within an area of undeveloped, residential, and commercial properties. As early as 1953, the former Aerovox Corporation began operations at the site. Currently the site houses its subsidiary corporation, AVX Corporation. Since 1972, AVX has manufactured a variety of ceramic capacitors and electronic components at its Myrtle Beach facility. The components manufactured at this facility are used in the automotive, medical and consumer electronics industries. This facility also conducts research and development of new products, materials and processes. 

History of Groundwater Contamination

In 1995, AVX notified the Department of the existence of soil and groundwater contamination beneath the AVX Myrtle Beach property.  During the investigation of the extent of contamination, it was discovered in 2006 that groundwater contamination had migrated to other properties around the facility.  An extensive investigation of the off-property ground contamination was conducted, and the extent of that groundwater contamination identified.  

In 2010, remediation of the site was separated into the following operable units in order to expedite the cleanup of off-property groundwater and surface water contamination: 

  • Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) - the facility property; and 
  • Operable Unit 2 (OU-2) - the off-property groundwater contamination. 

A Proposed Plan for the cleanup of OU-2 was completed in 2011. The Record of Decision approving the Proposed Plan was completed in 2012. The remedy for the off-site groundwater contamination has been implemented and is progressing successfully. 

The Proposed Plan for OU-1 has been completed and will be the subject discussed at the public meeting on April 15, 2021. DHEC will accept comments on the Proposed Plan for OU-1 through May 15, 2021. 

Additional information on previous assessment and cleanup activities conducted at the AVX site for Operable Unit 2, can be found here.

Ongoing Groundwater Treatment

Contaminated groundwater is controlled from further movement off-property by two extraction wells. These wells pump groundwater to the surface where it is processed through a treatment system to remove the VOCs. 

The contaminated groundwater that has migrated off the facility property is being treated by a system that injects molasses into the ground. This process accelerates the breakdown of the VOCs into non-hazardous, naturally occurring components that are not harmful to human health or the environment.   

Proposed Plan for Operable Unit 1 

DHEC’s Bureau of Land and Waste Management has completed an evaluation of cleanup alternatives and prepared a Proposed Plan to address onsite soil and groundwater contamination for Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) at the AVX site. Operable Unit 1 includes the footprint of the former AVX facility. The Proposed Plan identifies DHEC’s preferred alternative for cleaning up the contaminated area and provides the reasoning for this preference. In addition, the Proposed Plan includes summaries of the other cleanup alternatives evaluated. The alternatives were identified based on information gathered during environmental investigations conducted by AVX pursuant to Consent Order No. 96-43-HW, issued by DHEC in December 1996.   

Detailed information about environmental investigations and activities of OU-1 can be found below and in the Focused Feasibility Study (FS), FS Investigation Report and the Proposed Plan posted on this web page. The Proposed Plan summarizes information found in the Feasibility Study and other documents contained in the Administrative Record.  The entire Administrative Record can be viewed at the Horry County Memorial Library—Socastee Branch, 141 SC Hwy 707-Connector, Myrtle Beach, SC. 


Summary of Site Risks 

The area adjacent to the site is zoned for industrial, commercial, and residential usage. The affected aquifer is considered a potential underground drinking water source. The primary exposure routes would be contact with onsite soils or contact/ingestion of affected groundwater containing contamination. The facility is fenced, therefore access is limited.  Public water is available in this area. 

A long-term plan for treatment of OU-1 is necessary to protect public health and the environment from actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances in the future.   

Based on information collected during previous investigations, an FS was conducted to identify, develop, and evaluate cleanup options and remedial alternatives.   

Remedial Action Objectives 

The remedial action objectives (RAOs) for the development and evaluation of alternatives for this site are: 

  • Eliminate site-related contaminants of concern (COCs) from soils that may be leaching into groundwater. 
  • Restore the groundwater aquifer by reducing COCs to below Federal Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for drinking water.   
  • Prevent ingestion and dermal contact with groundwater containing COCs above MCLs and minimize the potential for COCs to migrate offsite.   

Summary Cleanup Alternatives Considered 

Based on information collected during previous investigations, a Feasibility Study for Operable Unit 1 (Arcadis, 2019) was conducted to identify, develop, and evaluate options and remedial alternatives to address the contamination at the Site. This evaluation considered the nature and extent of contamination and associated potential human health risks developed during the remedial investigations and associated studies to determine and evaluate potential remedial alternatives and their overall protection of human health and the environment. Each remedial alternative evaluated by DHEC is described briefly below. Note: A final Remedial Design will be developed prior to implementation of any alternative. 

AVX - Summary of Soil and Groundwater Clean-up Alternatives

DHEC’s Preferred Cleanup Alternative 

DHEC’s preferred remedial alternative for OU-1 is Alternative 2 - consisting of enhanced reductive dechlorination (ERD) and excavation.  ERD and excavation have both been used effectively at this site under OU-2 to reduce soil and groundwater contamination.  

The ERD remedy will consist of injection wells installed in transects across the source area saturated zone and the downgradient dissolved phase area into which an electron donor (such as molasses or emulsified vegetable oil) will be injected to create an anaerobic reactive zone.  Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) will be implemented following completion of the active phase of the ERD to monitor the decline of low-level concentrations of COCs. Deed notifications/restrictive covenants would further reduce the potential for receptor exposure to residual COCs in soil and groundwater. The net present value of this alternative is estimated at $5,009,611. 

Summary of DHEC’s Preferred Cleanup 

Alternative 2:  Excavation and Enhanced Reductive Dechlorination 

  • DHEC’s preferred alternative includes: 
  • Excavation and off-site disposal of source area soils. 
  • Injection of a carbon substrate into the ground to stimulate the breakdown of contaminants in groundwater by a natural process. 
  • Groundwater monitoring. 
  • Deed notifications/restrictive covenants on the OU-1 Site property.