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Reality Check: Surge in truck traffic in Fletcher, Fairview area

People in the Fletcher and Fairview area reached out to News 13 with some environmental concerns in their community.

Neighbors are concerned that trucks were illegally dumping. News 13 found that wasn't the case, and that trucks were actually hauling something away.

About every 10 minutes on Cane Creek Road, a truck will go by. Complaints about them vary. Patrice Inman said they need to go faster.

"I got stuck behind one going 40 miles an hour in a 55. To me, that's aggravating, because I like to drive the speed limit," Inman said emphatically.

News 13 tracked the trucks to Fairview's Hollywood Road. Right as a resident was about to tell us what was going on, a truck interrupted.

"I don't know how many of them are hauling, but they're longer than a week's washing," Bud Londonberg said.

Hollywood Road contains an old Buncombe County landfill. The state Department of Environmental Quality reports remediation began around Thanksgiving, and the trucks are removing waste.

The state said the landfill closed in 1976, but a person who grew up in the area said folks still used it into the '80s.

"I was riding the bus, and everybody just dumped their stuff in that hole. You could see it," Melissa Owenby said.

The landfill wasn't lined. The state reports the waste includes empty drums, cars, glass, metal, plastic, and tires. The state found one resident's well had been affected by the contamination and added a filtration system. News 13 reported on cleanup proposals last May.

With a plan in place, the site looks very different now. Seventeen-thousand cubic yards of waste are being hauled to a landfill in South Carolina. Another 14,000 cubic yards will be reused to stabilize the land and make it flat.

The remaining waste will be covered with layers of topsoil, and then a DEQ spokesperson said vegetation would lock it in place. The site is now private property, and there will be restrictions on how the land can be used.

The first person to contact News 13 was happy to learn the trucks drivers were working to make the area safer and cleaner.

The landfill had closed before regulations went into place. So, the state is paying for the cleanup, which is estimated to cost $2.4 million. The remediation is scheduled to end in mid-April.

News 13 reported on pre-regulation sites last June.

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