***UPDATED*** Fair warning?

***Update: In an e-mail to RiverLink’s Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson, County Commissioner David Gantt notes that Buncombe County is also committed to sampling any wells in the area surrounding the former CTS of Asheville plant. That message is reprinted below.****

Residents living near the former CTS of Asheville factory on Mills Gap Road in south Asheville have voiced concern recently during Buncombe County Commissioners meetings, worrying that the hazardous-waste site in their neighborhood poses a threat to public health.

In response to their concerns, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are offering to conduct well-water sampling, to ensure that residents are not at risk of drinking contaminated water.

Residents who attended a public meeting on the topic several weeks ago were provided with information about who to contact in order to have their well water sampled. But for anyone hearing about it for the first time, the agencies have left a very small window of opportunity to sign up for testing. In a press release dated Friday, Nov. 16, and sent out around 6 p.m., DENR and EPA announce that all requests for sampling should be submitted by Tuesday, Nov. 20.

And while the press release specifies that residents living “within a one mile radius of the former CTS plant” may request sampling, it was noted at the EPA public meeting that requests submitted by those living farther away would be accommodated as well.

The press release, which was sent by the EPA, appears below.

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

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PRIVATE WELL SAMPLING FOR RESIDENTS WITH A ONE MILE RADIUS OF THE FORMER CTS PLANT LOCATED AT 275 MILLS GAP ROAD IN ASHEVILLE

Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Nov. 16, 2007)  The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are taking requests from residents wishing to have their private wells sampled for contaminants within a one mile radius of the former CTS plant located at 275 Mills Gap Road in Asheville. Residents should submit all requests for sampling by Tuesday, November 20, 2007.  To request sampling, please contact Harry Zinn with NC DENR at (919) 508-8488, or David Dorian with EPA at (404) 562-8767, or dorian.david@epa.gov.

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From: David Gantt
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 10:49 AM
To: Hartwell Carson
Subject: Re: CTS Update 11-19- GANTT reply

HC- Thanks for the update.  Could you make absolutely sure that EPA and NC have received all documents that suggest health problems resulting from potential contamination at CTS site?  I have sensed a reluctance and justified disappointment in government actions, but objective evidence of health problems could impact the priority both responsible governments are required to give sites causing health problems.  If this has not been done, we should submit this critical evidence as soon as possible.  Objective documentation of health problems helps both bureaucrats and elected officials move the clean up protocol along.
In the last County Commissioner meeting, we voted to:

1)    test any wells that want it- no set radius of parameters- County will do this if State backs down
2)    authorize county attorney to review all legal options to enforce existing laws of clean up
3)    urge creation of a citizen review panel to make sure testing and enforcement of laws are proceeding in
      a timely manner.

I appreciate all you doing to move this clean up along.  The Commission will continue to push where we can.

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