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More Davidson Sites To Be Tested For Asbestos Ahead Of Cleanups

121520 New sampling map.JPG
Environmental Protection Agency
An updated map shows private properties that have been tested for asbestos on Davidson's West Side. Those in orange tested positive for asbestos and are expected to have soil removed and replaced in late January or early February.

Environmental Protection Agency contractors will be back in Davidson on Wednesday for more soil tests at homes near an old asbestos mill. They're trying to see if any additional properties are contaminated with asbestos from the former Carolina Asbestos factory near downtown.

The old mill operated from the 1930s to the 1960s, producing asbestos fabric, tiles and shingles. Waste material was tossed into a ditch, and sometimes used as fill in nearby yards and driveways.

The EPA has already sampled soil at 133 sites this year. So far, they've found eight properties on the town's historically African American West Side that require cleanups, including the town-owned Roosevelt Wilson Park.

Cleanups are planned in late January or early February, according to the EPA.

EPA and state environmental officials answered residents' questions at a virtual public meeting Tuesday night.

One resident asked about utility construction that's going on in areas on either side of Griffith Street, the town's main route to I-77.

Town of Davidson project manager Doug Wright said the work is part of a water main upgrade by Charlotte Water. Workers are digging trenches in areas that previously have been tested and found clear of asbestos, he said. But if they do encounter any, he said Charlotte Water has certified contractors ready to remove it.

See Maps And More

The EPA and N.C. Department of Environmental Quality have posted a story map site about the Davidson asbestos contamination at https://arcg.is/1mXjby

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.