ACT: New “pockets of pollution” found at Chemtronics site in Swannanoa

The Asheville Citizen-Times’ Joel Burgess reports that new “pockets of pollution” have been found at the former Chemtronics site in Swannanoa. State and EPA officials are investigating; a Community Action Group has organized; and further cleanup action may take place — but not until 2016.

For years, the companies responsible for the former military weapons site, Chemtronics, have been cleaning pollution hotspots on the 1,027 acres.

But recently, additional contamination was found where 14 buildings were torn down. That contamination includes 1,2-dichloroethane, a solvent that can harm humans, Land Davidson, regional aquifer protection supervisor for the state division of water quality, said. …

In the last decade, though, the new plumes were discovered. Pilot cleanup studies are being done that involve injecting an emulsion of vegetable oil to promote the growth of bacteria that will consume the chemicals.

At the same time the EPA is investigating the site and could mandate a certain type of cleanup. That would only start by 2016, Bornholm said.


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