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Money to help identify dangerous toxins in center-city Rock Hill

In a boost to Rock Hill's efforts to keep closer tabs on toxins, Rock Hill has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, city officials announced this morning. The money will be used first to identify and prioritize the substances, then educate neighbors on how to protect themselves.

Asbestos, lead-based paint and other potential toxins left behind at abandoned textile mills can pose health risks to neighbors.

That's especially true in center-city Rock Hill, where homes are built close to old mills in neighborhoods like Hagins-Fewell, Sunset Park, Crawford Road North and Sunset Park.

A Toxic Task Force has been created to get residents involved. Also, the city will create the Urban Rock Hill Toxics Substance Registry.

Rock Hill's grant application was one of the best the EPA has received, said Linda Rimer, a project officer with the agency.

If the city meets the goals laid out in the first grant application, the EPA will consider awarding $200,000 more as part of a second phase.