Decades after the furor over a Swannanoa weapons plant introduced many residents to the term “Superfund site,” the focus is shifting toward potential future uses for a portion of the Chemtronics property.
About 50 people gathered at the Skyland Fire Department this afternoon to see an in-depth WLOS report on the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site. Many, residents of the Mills Gap Road area, have lived with the specter of the nearby pollution for more than a decade. They expressed their hope for a clean-up, an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling of the matter and renewed pressure on legislators.
Residents of the Mills Gap Road area, who live near the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site will hold a viewing of WLOS’ hour-long investigative report on the issue this afternoon. The residents, many active for years in bringing attention to the problem, will renew their call for accountability from the Environmental Protection Agency and a full clean-up.
The CTS Corporation has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to overturn a June ruling from a federal appeals court that would allow 23 local citizens to go forward with a their lawsuit demanding compensation and cleanup of the company’s contaminated former Asheville site.
Tomorrow night, Asheville City Council will consider a deal with Buncombe County to provide municipal water to 129 households around the former CTS of Asheville site, where groundwater contamination remains an ongoing problem.
The EPA has rejected a plan submitted by CTS to investigate the current extent of contamination at its former plant site on Mills Gap Road. The site is presently awaiting final approval to EPA’s National Priorities List, a move expected to place it alongside the other “Superfund” sites, the most contaminated sites on EPA’s national docket. Photo by Katie Damien.
A recent bid by residents near the contaminated former CTS of Asheville plant on Mills Gap Road to have the property condemned has taken a step forward. A Buncombe County inspection from last week reveals numerous holes in the roof, missing doors and window glass, and related damage that “doesn’t seem feasible to repair.”
Photo courtesy of EPA.
In a relatively rare moment of bipartisan action today, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Sen. Richard Burr, along with Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler, sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging it to hasten its efforts to clean up the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site.
Mills Gap resident Leigh Ann Smith displays her message regarding the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site. Photo by Katie Damien.
Today, a resident of the Mills Gap Road area showed Xpress reporters busted barrels at the border of the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site, which he asserts may point to chemical dumping responsible for groundwater contamination in the area.
Photo by Jonathan Welch
At a press conference tonight, activists called for: excavating contaminated soil; bringing city water to the area; a congressional investigation; the state to investigate NCDENR’s role in cleanup; adding the original plant site to the federal Superfund list (while removing the Rice property from that list); and for compensation of the Rice and Robinson families.
A resident of the Chapel Hill Church Road area, located less than a mile from the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site, has taken the case for putting residents of the area on municipal water to the public, with a 3-minute YouTube video outlining her plea.
A public hearing on the possible need for stricter pollution control requirements at the Blue Ridge Paper Products Canton mill will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Tuscola High School in Waynesville.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a health assessment today of the area surrounding the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site. The study declares that there is no elevated rates of cancer in a 1-mile radius, and little risk of contamination spreading, but also declares that new harmful substances such as lead have been found in the area.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will release the results of a health assessment of residents living near the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site next week, both online and in a public forum, according to an announcement from the county health department.