Residents Told To Evacuate Homes, EPA Finds Toxic Air - WSPA.com

Residents Told To Evacuate Homes, EPA Finds Toxic Air

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The former CTS plant manufactured electronic components at a site off of Mills Gap Road in Asheville. The former CTS plant manufactured electronic components at a site off of Mills Gap Road in Asheville.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -

Tests finding toxic levels of a cancer-causing chemical in the air have resulted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to recommend three families living near the CTS superfund site in Asheville to relocate.

Air vapor tests revealed elevated levels of trichloroethylene or TCE in the air around the former CTS plant on Mills Gap Road, according to EPA officials.

The agency is paying the resident’s moving expenses.

Community members say the area has been a known hazard for decades.

“We have been finding out all this information over time,” said Glen Horecky, president of the EPA Community Advisory Group.

Officials met with concerned residents on Monday, who tell 7 On Your Side they found out about their neighbor’s evacuation from the local news.

“The folks that were evacuated and I could literally throw baseballs to one another from our deck, and the government didn’t even bother to come over here,” said Charles Thomas.

Samantha Urquhart-Foster, of the EPA, said the agency will conduct further air quality tests in the coming days.

She says the CTS superfund site was added to the EPA’s National Priority List for cleanup in 2012.

In order to deal with the air quality issue, the cleanup process will focus on polluted springs and could take several months.

As for removing the underground contaminants that has contributed to problems with the groundwater and soil, Urquhart-Foster doesn’t have a timeline for that job.

She says the EPA and the property owner are working together.

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Emily Pace
Emily is a general assignment reporter covering Buncombe, Polk, Rutherford and Henderson Counties.
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