Residents to sue over CTS contamination

Gary A. Davis, an environmental attorney based in Hot Springs, has sent a notice of intent to sue on behalf of 29 residents living near the former CTS of Asheville plant.

The CTS plant, which manufactured electronics equipment, closed in the mid-1980s but left behind a toxic legacy. Significant levels of trichloroethylene, a suspected carcinogen, have been found in the soil beneath the plant and in springs on adjoining property. A plume of groundwater contamination persists, and no action has been taken by state or federal agencies to launch a full-scale cleanup despite two decades of agency involvement.

Many of the residents who plan to sue live beside the plant, in a neighboring subdivision off Mills Gap Road called Southside Village. The subdivision was once a part of a larger parcel of land owned by CTS, and trichloroethylene has been documented in a stream flowing through that property.

The notice of intent to sue was sent to the Elkhart, Ind.-based CTS corporation; Stan GreenbergJohn Powell and Fred Slosman — the three general partners of Mills Gap Road Associates and current owners of the CTS plant; and Richard Green and Steven D. Hill of the now-dissolved Biltmore Group LLC, which built the subdivision beside the former plant.

The letter cites the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, saying residents intend to sue “for abatement of an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment caused by disposal of hazardous waste on the CTS plant property.”

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

For more CTS coverage, see “Looking for Answers,” (Nov. 7 Xpress), “Green Scene: Residents Angry About CTS Contamination,” (Oct. 24 Xpress), “Under Pressure, Agencies Visit Hazardous-Waste Site,” (Oct. 3 Xpress), and “Fail-Safe?” (July 11 Xpress).

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