In situ remediation could revitalize hazardous waste sites

Mountain Xpress / Max Hunt

Hazardous waste sites are not exactly an endangered species: In Buncombe County alone, there are about 30 of them, relics of former manufacturing operations or other businesses that left behind toxic residues. Some of those companies were established before the 1970s, when pioneering environmental laws began regulating industrial pollution. Others simply ignored the laws governing disposal of dangerous chemicals. Either way, these contaminants are hard to get rid of, and expensive cleanup efforts can drag on for decades with no sure resolution.

The Chemtronics site in Swannanoa, for example, has been on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List since 1982, yet there’s still no end in sight to the cleanup (see “Chemtronics: From Chemical Weapons to Conservation Easement,” March 24, 2016, Xpress).

Meanwhile, over at the CTS site on Mills Gap Road in South Asheville, concerns about the pace and effectiveness of cleanup efforts have mobilized community activists (see “Toxic Legacy: CTS Site Breeds Heartache for Residents,” June 1, 2016, Xpress).

But a group of innovative strategies collectively known as “in situ remediation could dramatically improve the prospects for restoring these and other high-profile Superfund sites more quickly and at lower cost.

Instead of trying to mechanically remove contaminants from a property, in situ remediation harnesses the ability of certain chemicals or bacteria to tackle them where they are and turn them into harmless substances. Later this year, environmental contractors will implement such strategies at both those sites, under the auspices of EPA Region 4 officials. And meanwhile, another local project that’s already underway — RiverLink’s phytoremediation effort at the former Edaco junkyard on Amboy Road — gives some hints of these approaches’ potential to reclaim festering hazardous waste sites.

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Wanted Dead: Alligatorweed

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Storm Drain Marking Project

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Kiosks help us tell the story

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10:00 am Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Apr 12 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Volunteer Information Session Morning @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
5:30 pm Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Apr 12 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Volunteer Information Session Evening @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
Apr
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11:45 am RiverLink Bus Tour @ RiverFront Bus Tour
RiverLink Bus Tour @ RiverFront Bus Tour
Apr 20 @ 11:45 am – 2:30 pm
If you ever wondered about the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay development project – this is your opportunity to see and hear about the plans for the future. Available Seats: There is space for 12 participants on[...]
May
10
Wed
10:00 am Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Mo... @ RiverLink Offices
May 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Volunteer Information Session Morning @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]
5:30 pm Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
Volunteer Information Session Ev... @ RiverLink Offices
May 10 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Volunteer Information Session Evening @ RiverLink Offices | Asheville | North Carolina | United States
The information session will detail all of RiverLink’s volunteer positions in a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation. Volunteers will have a chance to fill out a volunteer application, and the Volunteer Coordinator will be available to[...]

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