CTS of Asheville Superfund Site

Asheville, NC - Region IV

Site Contact:

Carter Williamson
On-Scene Coordinator


235 Mills Gap Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Latitude: 35.4933000
Longitude: -82.5063000

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This is an archived website for a previous Time-Critical Removal Action.

For information on the new Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study (RIFS) please visit the following website: Here.

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The Mills Gap Time Critical Removal addresses immediate risks associated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs contamination located beneath the former CTS Plant located off Mills Gap Road in Asheville (approximately one mile east of Skyland), North Carolina (Buncombe County). Trichloroethene (TCE) is the primary contaminant of concern; however, elevated levels of trichloroethane (1,1,1 TCA), perchloroethylene (PCE), and petroleum constituents have also been measured. The former electronics part manufacturing plant is a single building with a nine-acre perimeter fence. 46 acres of the original property has been redeveloped into residences.


In 1952, IRC, Inc. (IRC) bought the land for the Site and constructed the building which it then used for its electroplating operations. In 1959, IRC sold the Site to CTS, Inc. From 1959 until 1986, CTS operated an electroplating facility at the Site. The chemical compound trichloroethylene (a.k.a. trichloroethene or "TCE") was employed by IRC and CTS to clean and/or degrease metal objects prior to electroplating. In 1987, Mills Gap Road Associates (MGRA) purchased the 54 acre and remains the current owner of the nine acre fenced area.

On August 16, 1999, NCDENR Superfund Section requested that EPA Region 4 Emergency Response and Removal Section evaluate the site for removal action. The request followed DENR sampling of contaminated springs in close proximity to the former CTS site. High concentrations of chlorinated solvents were identified in two springs and one domestic well, located topographically down-gradient from the site.

On August 20, 1999, the ERRB conducted a removal site evaluation in accordance with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR ยง300.410 (Ref. 2). Conditions at the site, specifically contamination of potable drinking water supplies with chlorinated solvents, were found to pose a threat to public health or welfare or the environment. Consequently, bottled water was provided to the four households that had used the contaminated sources for potable water. Subsequently the affected residences were connected to the Asheville-Buncombe municipal water supply.

Analytical results derived from the samples collected from beneath the former CTS plant revealed elevated concentrations of VOCs (e.g. 830,000 micrograms/kg TCE), base neutral and acid extractable compounds (BNAs), and petroleum hydrocarbons, most likely #2 fuel oil. TCE was detected in all samples and was typically present at the highest concentrations relative to other chemical compounds identified.

Following mitigation of the immediate threat posed by the contaminated springs and waterwell, EPA entered into negotiations with the identified Potentially Responsible Parties and executed an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with CTS Corporation and Mills Gap Road Associates in January 2004. On-Site removal activities began in June 2004.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section.