POWER Action Group, a community grassroots organization based in Arden, is the recipient of a $50,000.00 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).Read the full article
The funds will be used to hire a technical advisor to interpret technical reports and proposed cleanup activities at the CTS of Asheville site. TAG funds will also be used for educating community members about health and environmental issues related to the site.
The CTS site, a former electroplating facility, has been fraught with conflict for decades. The carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE) was used as a degreaser during the plant's operation. TCE has been found at high levels on and near the former facility, continuing to threaten the health of hundreds of area residents. The CTS of Asheville site was added to the EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) in March 2012.
POWER Action Group applied for the Technical Assistance Grant to give the community a stronger voice in advocating for, and steering the direction of the cleanup.
Western North Carolina Alliance co-director Julie Mayfield issued a statement saying, "We applaud POWER for its persistent and constructive approach to securing a comprehensive and timely clean up of the CTS site. This grant recognizes the value they bring to the ongoing work and will help ensure their work will be even more effective going forward."
TAG funding is administered by the EPA, and in accordance with the Remedial Investigation agreement between the EPA and CTS, the company is required to provide funding for the grant.
POWER will interview and hire the technical expert who will work independently on behalf of the community. Community members are invited to participate in the process of choosing the technical advisor, and those interested can reach POWER via their website at POWERactiongroup.org.