The newly-formed North Carolina House Select Committee to Investigate the Handling of the CTS Contamination Site will have its first meeting next Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh.
"This is a big deal that really is just the beginning of what we have been working on for years," Dave Ogren, a community resident who's been active on the CTS case for some time, says. "Representative Moffitt and his staff are very excited about this hearing, and would like a great turn out."
EPA proposed the site last March for its National Priorities List, a move that, once approved, is expected to place the site among the most contaminated in the nation. The history of alleged chemical dumping at the site, and its impact on the surrounding community, are profiled in a comprehensive timeline, covering events and documents going back some five decades, recently compiled by Xpress staff.
The hearing will review the history of the site, including the current status of clean-up efforts, with testimony provided by Dexter Matthews, Director of the Division of Waste Management for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The hearing will also offer a summary of findings of the CTS Citizens Monitoring Council, which has done extensive research and documentation of the case, led by resident Tate MacQueen. Citizens Monitoring Council has criticized both state and federal agencies for bungling or failing to respond to the urgency of the situation presented by alleged dumping of hazardous waste at the site, stretching back decades, and ending when CTS ceased operations at the electroplating facility in 1986.
Public comments are sought during the meeting, where committee members including Rep. Mitch Gillespie of McDowell County and Rep. Chuck McGrady of Henderson County will discuss next steps. Future meetings are planned, with a second meeting tentatively set for Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the same location.
For those who can't attend in person, a live feed of the proceedings will be available online. Readers can access it at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 17 from the General Assembly's website. From there, click on “Finance Committee Room (Room 544)” to view the proceedings.