top of page


Stay Informed.

Badin Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the State of North Carolina, but an ugly stain is spreading across the lake that needs to be cleaned up. Alcoa, which produced aluminum for more than 100 years in the town of Badin, has left a dirty legacy of contaminated waste. For years this waste, which was buried in sites around the lake, has been seeping into the water of Badin Lake and Little Mountain Creek that feeds Lake Tillery.


These industrial waste burial sites are forty to fifty feet deep and hundreds of feet long. It is estimated they are holding tens of thousands of tons of smelter “pot liner” containing the pollutants Cyanide, Fluoride, and PCB’s that have been determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be a regulated hazardous waste. These by-product chemicals are leaching and washed into Badin lake through the ground and via Alcoa installed stormwater runoff drainpipes.


Cyanide can be absorbed through the skin and ingested when a person swallows water while swimming in the lake. PCBs associated with ALCOA’s stormwater outfalls have also been found in Badin Lake as well. PCBs bioaccumulate in the flesh of fish that are regularly eaten by local fisherman and also consumed by fish-eating birds such as Bald Eagles and Osprey that are prevalent on the lake. There are currently signs around Badin Lake warning you to limit your intake of fish caught
from Badin.

These contaminants are highly toxic and the effects on humans and wildlife are widely known. Additionally, the tens of thousands who recreate in this lake yearly to swim, boat, fish, water ski and draw water from the lake for gardening are exposed. Lastly, Badin Lake is also the drinking water supply for the town of Albemarle while Lake Tillery is the water supply for Montgomery County leaving an undetermined number of others in fear of exposure to these chemicals. 

These industrial waste pits have been on these grounds for decades and only a small area immediate to the Alcoa site are surrounded by chain link fencing with no public warning signs that only prevent trespass on the immediate grounds. Yet, there is no barrier for subterranean and surface stormwater leaching into Badin Lake.


These pit areas, the waters of Badin Lake and its shoreline were studied by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in 2014 and 2015 and were considered eligible for “National Priorities Listing” (NPL) or otherwise commonly known as Superfund Sites. Superfund Sites are those hazardous waste sites considered to be the most contaminated and most dangerous to humans and the environment within the boundaries of the United States.


This area could have qualified for the NPL under Superfund but instead, the state of North Carolina requested regulatory oversight as a corrective action facility under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or RCRA.


There is no concrete plan to cleanup this contamination. Many legal battles have ensued over the years to get Alcoa to cleanup these waste sites and still nothing has been done. See the many news articles shown below.


We want some action now. We respectfully request that action be taken on the following items:


  • Alcoa to excavate hazardous wastes from the most dangerous of the more than 40 disposal sites, or so-called “solid waste management units,” that are leaking hazardous waste into groundwater, Little Mountain Creek and Badin Lake.

  • Strictly enforce any future violations of Alcoa’s stormwater permits for discharges into Little Mountain Creek and Badin Lake until the source of the cyanide and fluoride-laced groundwater pollution can be removed and remediated.

  • Insist on better consultation and coordination between the Department’s Divisions of Water Resources (DWR) and Waste Management (DWM) in reducing and eliminating hazardous waste contaminating land and water resources.

  • Pursue the option of having the US EPA’s Superfund Program clean up the site should Alcoa continue to fail in its responsibilities.

  • Act immediately to require Alcoa to hold a public meeting to address local communities’ concerns and initiate meaningful community engagement and public participation in developing remediation plans for this site.


We will update this website regularly with new information as it becomes available. Please sign our petition, click here and send us your feedback at

Executives from Alcoa’s corporate HQ visit NC town plagued by chemical dumping


Badin neighbors, experts discuss Alcoa’s response to chemical dumping


State denies Alcoa’s Special Order by Consent to discharge contaminants into Badin Lake


Alcoa subsidiary loses battle to reroute waste into Badin Lake


Just add water: Alcoa proposes discharging cyanide into Badin Lake


Settlement puts lake, industrial site on path to clean up


Testing shows pollution still too high at former N.C. smelting plant


PW special report: Residents of NC town long treated as a massive waste dump demand action


Pollution, death taint former Alcoa company town


Shuttered Alcoa plant threatens North Carolina community

bottom of page