Updated Friday, Jan. 27, 2017
Despite the Trump administration's freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts, a federal cleanup of asbestos found at homes in Davidson remains on track. In addition, state officials say work will start next week to cap asbestos that spilled near an old factory in the neighborhood.
The EPA tested homes around the old Carolina Asbestos plant last fall, after neighbors told stories of how asbestos once was routinely spread on driveways and yards.
At least 17 About 75 properties were tested, and so far, 23 homes were found with high enough asbestos to warrant removal, an EPA spokeswoman said.
This week, the EPA announced a freeze on new grants and contracts. But a spokeswoman says that doesn't apply to Superfund cleanups already underway, like this one. EPA is awaiting more tests and test results, but is still planning removal.
Meanwhile work begins Monday, Jan. 30, on a separate project to cover loose asbestos that spilled near the mill last fall. Officials say ground hogs or other small animals caused the spill when they burrowed into soil covering an old asbestos pile.
Contractors overseen by the state department of Environmental Quality will cut down trees and shrubs. Then they'll install a plastic liner and cover it with new soil to prevent further asbestos runoff.
The mill's owner, Metrolina Warehouse LLC, is paying for the work, which should take about four days. The contractor is S&ME.
A DEQ spokesman said workers will be wearing protective gear, including breathing masks, just in case asbestos fibers are kicked up. They'll also monitor air quality to make sure no airborne asbestos gets into the neighborhood.
See the DEQ notice of mitigation work at the old mill, 301 Depot St., Davidson