The Powhatan Mining Company site is the location of a former anthophyllite asbestos ore processing facility that operated from about 1920 to 1980. Asbestos ore was mined from areas in Maryland until reserves were depleted and then ore was shipped to the facility from other parts of the U.S. and reportedly from overseas. After facility operations ceased, the plant essentially was boarded up and adequately secured but it has deteriorated over the years. Construction activities directly adjacent to the site in 2007 exposed asbestos-containing soils leading to an investigation of the former facility and surrounding grounds for potential cleanup needs. In August 2010, EPA began a removal action at the site.
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In August 2012, removal actions ceased. Response activities included removal and disposal of asbestos-contaminated materials inside the former processing facility, demolition and removal of the former processing facility, excavation and removal of contaminated soil, covering of contaminated soil with soil/vegetation, stone or asphalt, excavation and restoration of contaminated residential yards, construction of a storm drainage treatment basin, and construction of a replacement garage.