EPA was contacted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on 10/30/08 concerning the suspected release of asbestos to the environment in Horse Cave, KY. ATSDR was contacted by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KY DPH) regarding action levels for asbestos. The timeline for the incident is as follows:
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10/20 - The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) responds to complains of excessive dust at a location where former tobacco warehouse was being demolished. Samples of mulch that had been sent through a tub grinder tested positive for asbestos. The Hart County Soild Waste Coordinator shut down demo operations and efforts commenced to sample nearby businesses and residences within an 800' radius of the demo site for asbestos. Also, efforts initiated to notify the public that parties who had taken mulch from the site for landscaping purposes should come forward and have their yards tested for asbestos.
10/31 - EPA OSC Smith dispatched to site to investigate further. Responsible parties removing mulch from demo site under KDEP asbestos abatement regs. 11 nearby locations had been tested for the presence of asbestos fibers in air and in settled dust. No asbestos was detected at any of these locations. EPA agreed to support KDEP with guidance on sampling and analytical methodologies, and to coordinate the assistance of ATSDR to state and local health departments regarding health effects of asbestos and action levels associated with elevated risk of exposure to asbestos.
11/03 - EPA and ATSDR participated in a public meeting held in Horse Cave, KY. KDEP reported that settled dust samples collected at 20 indoor locations had tested negative for asbestos. ATSDR informed the public of health effects associated with long term exposure, and one resident came forward to acknowledge she had picked up asbestos-tainted mulch.
11/25 - EPA and ATSDR joined a conference call with KDEP and KY DPH to close out the case. KDEP indicated that they were preparing a final report stating that no asbestos structures were detected in both airborne and settled dust samples, and that asbestos-contaminated mulch had been removed from the demo site and all known off-site locations. EPA and ATSDR offered to review information being prepared for property owners and provide concurrence with KDEP's findings.
Following the conclusion of the conference call on 11/27, EPA determined that no further involvement was warranted.