CLOVER -- Tonight, neighbors to a contaminated mine site in Clover will get to hear what progress is being made in determining the extent of the danger.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Atlanta and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control will hold a community meeting to update and share information about Henry's Knob mining site, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at Bethany Elementary School, 337 Maynard Grayson Road, Clover.
The Henry's Knob Site is located just west of Clover at the intersection of Henry's Knob Road and S.C. 55. The 185-acre site was formerly an open pit kyanite mine that operated from 1947 to 1970, according to an EPA Web site.
Assessments have indicated elevated levels of metals present in both soils and groundwater at the site. Scientists are working to determine the extent of the contamination and clean-up possibilities.
"We're going to present the findings for groundwater residential wells, surface water and sediments and soils to the public," said Beverly Stepter, remedial project manager. "We're finding a lot of metals."
Some of the metals found were aluminum, arsenic and beryllium, which can be hazardous to human health. The most common one found in residential wells has been manga nese, which can cause a bad taste and stain clothes but doesn't pose a major health threat, Stepter said.
Deeper wells are going to be dug and they plan a risk assessment to see what the threat to human health is, Stepter said. The investigation should be complete by the end of the year, she said.
They also need to determine the source of the contamination.
"That's what we're trying to figure out, if it came from the mining operation itself or are these contaminants just naturally occurring," she said.
The Henry's Knob mining site was deeded to York County in 1974 and used as a park. York County sold the property in 1982 and it has been privately-owned since, according to the EPA Web site. York County considered re-purchasing the property in 1999, and contracted for assessments during 2000, which is when the contamination was found.
For more information, call Linda Starks, community involvement coordinator, at (404) 562-8487 or Stepter at (404) 562-8816.