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Construction for the Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH) system to treat the source of trichloroethene (TCE) contamination under the former CTS building is on schedule.

The installation of subsurface components for the Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH) system to treat TCE contamination under the former CTS building is complete. Drilling to install the electrodes, vapor recovery wells and temperature monitoring probes was completed the week of May 7th, and off-site transportation and disposal of drilling waste has ended. Air monitoring during drilling showed air quality was protective of on-site workers and the adjacent community.

The installation of ERH treatment system components on the surface continues. This involves connecting about 16,000 linear feet of cable from the electrodes/vapor wells to the Power Control Units and transformers; and plumbing the vapor recovery wells to the blowers, condensers and thermal oxidizer. Personnel continue to coordinate with the utility company for required electricity, and with the sewer district to discharge treated water from the carbon units.

Testing of all the ERH equipment will occur mid- to late May, and then the subsurface temperature will be gradually raised to start boiling the TCE. The full-scale heating is anticipated to start in early June and be completed by October/November 2018. During these operations, there may be a visible steam-like discharge from the stack on site. This is water condensation caused by weather conditions, not a release of TCE vapor. Samples of the stack effluent will be collected during heating operations, in addition to continuous air monitoring at four locations at the site perimeter closest to neighboring residences. If these air monitoring stations detect elevated concentrations of contaminants—above Western North Carolina’s regulatory limit of 59 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3)—actions will be taken to identify and control the source.

Sampling was conducted to determine the pre-treatment TCE concentration in the groundwater, saturated soil and Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL), against which the cleanup goal of 95% reduction of TCE following treatment can be measured and verified. The pre-treatment TCE sampling results are expected shortly and will be posted on this web page once approved by EPA.


EPA distributes community updates periodically that provide current information on site activities.

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Public Participation Opportunities

EPA and NCDEQ have conducted a broad range of community involvement activities to meaningfully involve the community and to ensure that the Asheville community remains informed about site activities throughout the site cleanup and evaluation process. Outreach activities have included public notices and information meetings regarding site progress and activities. Outreach activities have also included work with the local government. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has also engaged in outreach activities along with the EPA and North Carolina Department of Health (NCDPH) to inform the community on contaminants of concern. EPA staff distributes Community Updates via email. If you would like to be added to the email distribution list, please click on the link above.

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Community Resources

In 2013, EPA awarded the POWER (Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources) Action GroupExit a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG). The TAG helps communities participate in Superfund cleanup decision-making. It provides funding to community groups to contract their own technical advisor to interpret and explain technical reports, site conditions, and EPA’s proposed cleanup plans and decisions throughout the Superfund process. The EPA Remedial Project Manager (RPM) and Community Involvement Coordinator (CIC) work closely with the technical advisor to coordinate technical reviews of work plans and reports.

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Site News Archive

November 27, 2017: THURSDAY: EPA to Host Public Meeting About the Start of Cleanup at the CTS Superfund Site in Asheville, N.C.

November 17, 2017: Cleanup to Begin at the CTS Superfund Site in Asheville, N.C.

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