Live on URTV: Mills Gap residents on CTS contamination

The former CTS plant on Mills Gap Road is receiving increased attention as neighboring residents clamor for a swift cleanup of the hazardous-waste site. Factory operations, which came to a halt in 1986, left behind a harmful chemical solvent called trichloroethylene, which is now leaching into groundwater and nearby flowing streams. Recent testing showed that contamination levels have not significantly improved despite years of Environmental Protection Agency involvement.

This evening, on URTV Channel 20, residents of the neighboring Southside Village subdivision will share experiences and voice concerns about the impact the site could have on public health. Weaverville resident Don Yelton will host the show, which airs live from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, area residents will meet at the Skyland Fire Department to explore their legal options. An environmental attorney from Madison County has agreed to take the case on a contingency basis.

And Buncombe County Commissioners announced today that they will attend an information session with representatives of the EPA, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and County Environmental Health to discuss health, safety and environmental issues surrounding the old CTS plant. The meeting will be held at the Skyland Fire Department on Monday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m.  The community is encouraged to attend.

The EPA and DENR, meanwhile, are also responding to residents’ concerns. Agencies will conduct well-water tests and launch a health consultation in coming weeks to assess the possible health risk posed by the groundwater contamination.

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

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