NC House committee issues subpoenas to compel EPA officials to testify on CTS

A North Carolina House Select Committee has issued subpoenas to compel key EPA officials, including Superfund Branch Chief Don Rigger, to testify in a hearing in Raleigh next month, even as Mills Gap Road-area residents file a formal complaint of criminal negligence against the agency in the case of the former CTS of Asheville, and another Mills Gap home receives an emergency supply of bottled water from the EPA. Photo by Susan Andrew.

New contaminat­ion emerges in Mills Gap; neighbors await municipal water hookups

At a kitchen table in the Mills Gap community in South Asheville last night, neighbors of the former CTS of Asheville plant met to plan next steps, after two new domestic wells nearby recently tested positive for industrial contaminants including cyanide.  CTS has signed an agreement with EPA to provide filtration to all homes within a one-mile radius of the recently demolished plant; but neighbors say they were anticipating municipal water hookups.

NC lawmakers hear testimony from DENR, CTS neighbors on contaminat­ion case

A Statehouse committee chaired by Buncombe Rep. Tim Moffitt convened in Raleigh Jan. 17 to question DENR officials and hear from residents near the former CTS electroplating facility on Mills Gap Road south of Asheville. Here, Moffitt embraces CTS neighbor Dot Rice, whose family’s spring was contaminated by hazardous chemicals used at the plant; numerous Rice family members have become gravely ill.

EPA rejects CTS plan for soil sampling; says more robust plan needed for Mills Gap site

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.

CTS is not about politics — it’s about people and the environmen­t

I think it’s only fair and just to actually look at the facts that escaped Mr. Ramsey in his letter in the Oct. 5 Xpress [“Don Yelton, Problem Solvent”]. I am an environmental-systems engineer with a concentration in water-quality management. I have a master’s degree in environmental-systems engineering from Clemson University and a master’s degree […]

EPA seeks action, demands CTS and current owners cover costs on proposed Superfund site in Mills Gap

In a letter dated September 13, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency has demanded payment of $6.5 million dollars to cover costs already incurred in its efforts to deal with contaminated ground water and soils near the former CTS of Asheville plant, located on Mills Gap Road in South Asheville. Meanwhile, Buncombe County Commissioners have postponed until November 1 their consideration of a decision to demolish the derelict building at taxpayer expense. Photo: Officials from EPA’s Superfund Branch stand at the gate to the CTS property during a recent sampling trip. Photo by Susan Andrew.

CTS property owner appeals condemnati­on

In an Oct. 6 letter to the Buncombe County Clerk, CTS property owner Mills Gap Road Associates appealed the county’s recent order that the building be demolished, saying that it would continue to cooperate with EPA. That agency is moving to place the property on the National Priorities List, a.k.a. Superfund, which would rank the Mills Gap site among the most contaminated properties in the nation.

Don Yelton, problem solvent

Thanks for keeping the community updated on the tragedy in slow motion happening at CTS [“Going Green,” Sept. 21 Xpress]. Don Yelton, a conservative talk-show host and political aspirant, brings up an interesting, yet straightforward scientific question: Will demolishing the building widen the scope of the already terrible industrial pollution on Mills Gap Road? Considering […]

CTS owners appeal county decision to condemn derelict plant building in Mills Gap

As Mills Gap residents looked on, an attorney representing the current owner of the former CTS of Asheville plant appealed to local government officials, asking them not to move forward with their plan to demolish the derelict plant building. Attorney Billy Clarke, representing Mills Gap Road Associates, told the presiding officials — County attorneys Kurt Euler and Michael Frue, and County Building Inspector Matt Stone — that the owners want to stabilize the building instead.

Local Matters: County Commission­, CTS, Women In Business and more food trucks

In this edition of the Mountain Xpress’ local news podcast: Jake Frankel on the most recent Buncombe County Commission meeting; Susan Andrew with the latest on the CTS cleanup; Tracy Rose on the Women In Business supplement and David Forbes on the Asheville City Council meeting about downtown food trucks.

When there’s a Superfund site next door: Neighbors anticipate demolition of CTS plant

Larry Rice stands at the fence surrounding the spring that once provided his family’s drinking water. Contamination of the spring by hazardous chemicals, presumably from the former CTS of Asheville property immediately uphill, led to the area being fenced off by the state. EPA staff are hosting a “public availability session” regarding the site this evening at the Skyland Fire Department.