ATLANTA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin to remove hazardous materials at the Blue Ridge Plating Site in Arden, N.C., on Dec. 1, 2014. The 3-acre site, located at 171 Glenn Bridge Road, operated as a metal plating facility between 1974 and 2014. EPA cleanup activities will include the removal and proper disposal or recycling of hazardous substances in deteriorating containers at the condemned former process building. EPA estimates the cleanup will be completed within 60 days.
Earlier inspections identified significant noncompliance with state and federal laws regulating the management and storage of hazardous wastes. EPA conducted a joint inspection with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources in April 2013 that identified leaking and unlabeled containers. A City of Asheville Inspection report from the Fire Marshall’s office dated Oct. 29, 2013, indicated that hazardous substances remained on site. In December 2013, the City of Asheville determined the building was unsafe and advised the occupants to stay out.
The hazardous substances inventoried at the site include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, cyanides and toxic heavy metals, such as hexavalent chrome, along with unknown materials. The former process building is in disrepair, with structural damage to the roof and walls, which could allow these hazardous substances to be released.
EPA has determined that the hazardous substances pose a threat to public health, welfare and the environment and must be removed. EPA has budgeted $552,000 for the removal action.
The Blue Ridge Plating Site is a former metal plating facility that used black oxide, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, tin and zinc in electroplating processes. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in September 2005, and was cleaned up by EPA in 2007 at a cost of approximately $1,500,000. The cleanup involved removing approximately 8,700 cubic yards of contaminated soil. EPA continues to periodically monitor the groundwater. At the time of the cleanup, the facility was still operating and the former process building was not included in the scope of work.
EPA is in the process of finalizing a Settlement Agreement with the property owner to recoup some of the costs of the prior cleanup and the new removal action.
More information about the Blue Ridge Plating site: http://www.epa.gov/region4/superfund/sites/npl/northcarolina/bluridplnc.html and the site information repository is located at the Buncombe Skyland Library, 260 Overlook Road, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina.
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