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Superfund CTS Clean-Up

Dear friends,
The EPA is requesting public input on the clean-up plan for the Superfund CTS plant site in Arden NC. (See November 22nd editorial in Asheville Citizen Times).   EPA emphasizes that public input may make the difference regarding their ability to hold the polluter (CTS) responsible for adequate clean-up.

I ask you to take a few minutes, and then promptly send an e-mail to the EPA requesting they do an “expanded clean-up” at the CTS Superfund site in Arden.

Briefly, CTS, home office in Indiana, was a plant established in the 1950’s, in Arden, to manufactured electronic components.   CTS closed the plant and moved from NC in 1986. They left behind a contaminated site including trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogen, detected, in 1999, in the drinking well water of several families living near the site. There has been a probable increase in malignances and TCE likely has likely contributed to their causation. In 2012, The EPA declared the plant location as a superfund site.

Clean –up has been painfully slow.

There is a disagreement between EPA and the CTS. CTS contends that a limited one acre clean-up will be sufficient. This will not address other areas of extremely high TCE concentrations in soil, groundwater and bedrock throughout the site.  Essentially EPA wants to include an additional one acre contaminated area.

The EPA public comment period ends on Sunday, November 29th.

I am appealing to you to send an e-mail comment to EPA since the number of people requesting an appropriate clean-up may make the difference for EPA to hold CTS responsible.

A model letter that you may use and modify as you like is:

Mr. Craig Zeller,
Remedial Project Manager,
U.S. EPA region 4,
Superfund Division,
11th Floor, 61 Forsyth St. SW,
Atlanta, GA.

Dear Mr. Zeller,
The proposed treatment area at the CTS of Asheville site should be expanded to include an adjacent highly contaminated source area (near Monitoring Wells 6 and 7) beyond the proposed one-acre treatment area.  Sampling data shows this additional area presents a potent source of TCE that will continue to migrate to the west and southeast and contaminate off-site ground water if left untreated.

In the interest of effectiveness, cost-efficiency, and responsible protection of human health and the environment, we ask that EPA exercise its Superfund authority to expand the treatment area. Doing so will make the interim remedial action more effective. I request that the Electric Resistance Heating Method be implemented to ensure that re-contamination of the treated area is not as likely to occur prior to implementation of the long-term, site-wide remedy.
Please move ahead as quickly as possible with the remedial cleanup action and requested expansion.
Thank you for your attention to this important request.


Please send your e-mail to Craig Zeller, EPA remedial project manager,

Or go to the website of the community activist group, Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.), which has led the struggle with CTS. The site has a mechanism to send an e-mail as well as information on the topic. A model letter to EPA can be found at P.O.W.E.R.  

Thank you,

Terry Clark, MD
Chair, WNC/PSR
November 22, 2015

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