State: work completed successfully to address asbestos at property in Davidson

Raleigh

State officials say work has been completed to protect a community from possible exposure to asbestos that was discovered on an exposed slope in Davidson.

Staff with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services oversaw the work, which was conducted by a contractor for Metrolina Warehouses LLC, the owner of the property at 301 Depot St. The work, which started Monday, took three days to complete, said Michael Scott, director of the state Division of Waste Management in DEQ whose staff oversaw the work.

“This is good news for the community,” Scott said. “We’re confident the landscaping work completed on the site this week will prevent future exposure to asbestos. But the state and the property manager will continue to monitor the site and ensure repairs can be made quickly if any problems arise.”   

The asbestos-containing material was first identified in the fall after officials with DEQ believe heavy rainfall eroded a slope on the site, and unearthed the asbestos before carrying it along two residential streets. Officials believe asbestos materials were left behind by Carolina Asbestos Materials, which made asbestos shingles at the site from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Starting on Monday, the contractor cleared trees, bushes and other vegetation along the slope where the asbestos was discovered. The contractor grouted holes found in the slope with concrete, then used up to 6 inches of clean topsoil to cover and level the slope, and then spread fertilizer along the slope. A coconut fiber matting was secured in place over the fresh groundcover and fencing was placed around the area to protect it while grass grows. A soil berm was constructed at the top of the slope to redirect any rain away from the slope and a fiber sock was placed at the base of the slope to capture any runoff.

None of the air monitors placed around the site and on several workers during the landscaping work detected asbestos fibers during the work. One air monitor did detect wood fibers that came from the vegetation that had been ground up in a wood chipper during the operation. However, those fibers were well within state air quality standards.

The property manager will monitor the site weekly during the next month and alert DEQ officials, as necessary, so corrective actions can be taken to address any problems. DEQ staff will continue to monitor the site and direct Metrolina Warehouses to make any necessary repairs to the landscaping work. 

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