The EPA gets earful from Mills Gap community

On Thursday, April 14, Environmental Protection Agency officials hosted another in a long series of community meetings about the contaminated CTS site in south Asheville. Just a few weeks ago, the EPA had announced that the vacant Mills Gap Road property was being proposed for the National Priorities List (aka the Superfund program). But with a final decision not coming till September, the EPA convened the April 14 meeting to report what resources are available to local residents. Photo by Katie Damien.

State legislator­s adopt resolution to investigat­e DENR’s handling of CTS site

North Carolina legislators may soon appoint a committee charged with investigating how the state environmental agency has handled the contaminated CTS site in Asheville. On April 11, the N.C. House adopted a resolution (HB 186) that calls for creating a “house select committee” for the issue. Rep. Tim Moffitt, Republican, was the primary sponsor. For the full text of the resolution…

Tell the truth about CTS!

The document referenced in “Flu Who? State Health Assessment Finds Most CTS Neighbors Not at Risk” (March 2 Xpress) is a 146-page slap-in-the-face to area residents by Sandy Mort of North Carolina Health and Human Services. People who live near the abandoned CTS site in Arden have dealt with life-threatening maladies for years from contaminants […]

Local Matters: County Budget, City Council and EPA updates for CTS

In this week’s Local Matters podcast, Xpress news editor Margaret Williams talks to reporter David Forbes about Buncombe County’s budget woes, and environmental reporter Susan Andrew about the latest news from the EPA about the polluted CTS site. Xpress freelancer Christopher George also presents a rundown of last week’s City Council meeting.

EPA proposes CTS property as Superfund site

Emotions ran high at a March 10 press conference and community meeting at the Skyland Fire Department concerning the former CTS of Asheville plant. As uniformed police officers wearing bulletproof vests kept watch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials announced that the plant and adjacent Mills Gap Road property have been proposed for addition to the National Priorities List of hazardous-waste sites. Addition to the list would rank the property among the most contaminated sites in the nation, qualifying it for cleanup under the Superfund program.
Photos by Jonathan Welch

EPA proposes adding local CTS site to Superfund list

In September 2010, Environmental Protection Agency officials announced they would consider proposing that the contaminated CTS site be added to the National Priorities List — that is, the Superfund program. Today, March 8, 2011, the EPA said it has taken that step and recommended that the property, located on Mills Gap Road in south Asheville, be added to the NPL of Superfund sites. The federal Superfund program is charged with investigating and cleaning up “the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country,” the EPA press release says.

Seeking relief: CTS neighbors file lawsuit

Photo by Jonathan Welch
Residents who live near the contaminated former CTS facility on Mills Gap Road have waited for years for cleanup, and as the time draws closer for EPA’s review of the site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (which would place it among the most severely contaminated sites in the U.S.), residents have decided to wait no longer. A group of 16 individuals and families filed suit against the Elkhart, Ind.-based corporation yesterday in federal court. Complainants include Tate MacQueen, spokesperson with the advocacy group Citizen’s Monitoring Council, which has worked to get the issue noticed and addressed, and Lee Ann Smith, whose young sons were treated for cancer after they were exposed to high levels of contaminants in a stream flowing from the CTS property near their home.

Photo essay: Area residents demonstrat­e at CTS site

Late Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 19, commuters along Mills Gap Road in Skyland were presented with signs of life from the usually desolate gate to the former CTS of Asheville. Once an electroplating plant, the CTS site is widely believed to be the source of chemical contamination of soils on the grounds, as well as in the water wells of neighboring residents.

Photos by Susan Andrew and Katie Damien

The Green Scene: Feds ineffectiv­e on Mills Gap Road contaminat­ion

The Environmental Protection Agency failed to find contamination promptly, adequately address its cleanup or communicate effectively with residents affected by air and water contamination from a former industrial plant near Asheville, according to a stinging report released last week by an independent office of the EPA. Warning: A sign near the contaminated former CTS of […]

CTS contaminat­ion report says no new dangers; residents say the study is flawed

Officials declared that the CTS-contamination study had found no new imminent threats, only to be met by poignant responses from area residents, some of whom have had their wells capped, others who have health problems that they perceive to be related to the contamination, and many of whom are raising children. Residents pointed to such daily realities, to which the study’s author responded, “We work with the information we have. That’s reality.”

Asheville City Council tackles a full agenda (initial Twitter coverage of Jan. 12 meeting)

Council had a full agenda, including a request by Mission Hospitals to add a five-story outpatient facility, consideration of an innovative plan to help citizens make Asheville more energy independent, a plea to run drinking-water lines to homes near the former CTS plant, and a request to amend the Glen Rock conditional use permit.

The Green Scene: Feds ineffectiv­e on Mills Gap Road contaminat­ion

Despite lying less than a half-mile from a contamination source that’s been under investigation since the 1990s, the Bradley family’s drinking well had never been tested when David Bradley noticed some folks drilling across the street from his South Asheville home on a mid-August day this year. On the move? Historical and more recent data […]