The Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Chemtronics Superfund site, located off Old Bee Tree Road in Swannanoa, held a public input meeting at the Bee Tree Fire Station on April 10. The meeting gave community members an opportunity to raise questions and voice concerns about the Superfund site and the proposed plans for remediation. Although the site has been on the Superfund list since 1985, it was not until last year that the CAG was formed to facilitate community participation in the cleanup decision-making process.
One of the major topics at the April 10 meeting was the proposal by current and prior owners of the property (known as “Potentially Responsible Parties” or “PRPs”) to shrink the boundaries of the site to include only those areas where industrial disruption took place. It looks likely that the EPA will approve the boundary reduction, eliminating over 500 acres of land from the Superfund site. Although the EPA and PRPs are confident that no industrial activity ever occurred on the portions of the property that would be “de-listed,” some CAG members have asked the EPA to do random sampling to verify the absence of contamination in those areas.
The CAG also expressed strong support for adding deed restrictions to the remaining parcel of land, assuming the de-listing is approved. Many support the idea of restricting development, and maintaining the property in a conservation easement, or as a permanent nature preserve.
Additional concerns raised at the meeting focused on the method and scope of the remediation efforts at the site. Among other things, the CAG has asked the EPA to provide more detail on the timetable for the cleanup efforts,and to consider additional remediation methods.
Comments received from CAG members and the general public are being compiled into an official memo to the EPA, which will be recorded in the Remedial Investigation report to be released by the EPA later this month. The next CAG general meeting will take place on Thursday, May 8, at the Bee Tree Fire Station, 510 Bee Tree Road. The public is encouraged to attend and participate in this important process. The May 8 meeting will include a professional presentation on risk assessment at the Chemtronics site. For more information about the Superfund site and the CAG, please click here.