EPA: $9M Cleanup for Toxic Former CTS Site in Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The EPA has approved a plan to start cleaning up the former CTS site.
This first phase will remove most all of the chemicals from more than three acres of property near Mills Gap Road.
Neighbors are cautious about the plan.
It was expanded after the public told the EPA it wanted CTS to clean more ground.
The debate over what to do with the polluted ground at the old CTS plant has gone on for decades.
The end seemed to be near last summer, when the company's contractor announced plans to remove the toxic chemicals from an acre of ground, using heat and electricity.
Now the EPA has approved using a process called chemical oxidation to clean another 1.9 acres.
People who live near the plant hope the cleanup effort will grow even larger.
"We will be cautiously realistic," said longtime activist Tate MacQueen. "EPA has a history of over-promising and under-delivering. One can only think of the harm that's been done with all the delays and nothing has ever been done to mitigate the source."
The EPA will require monitoring during the cleanup to protect the workers and the surrounding community.
The goal is to remove 95 percent of trichlorethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical used to clean machine parts.
This cleanup will cost more than $9 million.
CTS says it is committed to working with the EPA to clean up pollution on other parts of the property.
More on the CTS site and affected community here: