North Ridge Estates asbestos cleanup scheduled

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A $30,000,000 dollar cleanup project is scheduled to get underway next year on an asbestos-contaminated subdivision in Klamath Falls.

North Ridge Estates homeowner Gail Bailey says the cleanup project has been a long time coming…

“It’s been so many years, that yes – we are glad.”

The 170 acre site is contaminated with an estimated 1500 tons of asbestos used in construction of a military barracks back in the 1940’s.

The contamination was discovered in 2002 after more than 2 dozen high-end homes had already been built on the site.

The asbestos cleanup at North Ridge is expected to cost about 30 million dollars.

That cost is covered through an Environmental Protection Agency ‘Superfund’ that’s already been approved by the federal government.

The E.P.A’s Judy Smith notes that ‘E-A Engineering’ has been selected as primary cleanup contractor…

“They’re going to be viewing the site this afternoon, and putting together their bids for what they think it would take to do the work.”

The cleanup will involve replacing 2 to 4 feet of all topsoil, and removing and replacing most of the trees.

Gail Bailey is relieved that some ‘legacy’ trees will be allowed to remain…

“Really scared it was going to be wiped clean, excavated to moonscape.”

Judy Smith explains the reason behind the tree removal:  “Sometimes, the asbestos was so bound up in the roots of the trees, that it wouldn’t be possible to declare the site clean and leave the tree in place.”

The cleanup is scheduled to begin next summer, and take about 3 years to complete.

And Gail Bailey believes it will be worth the wait…

“We love it up here.  We do.  We just love it, and we want to stay.”

Public meetings on the North Ridge Estates cleanup will be held:

Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 6:pm – Klamath Basin Senior Center on Arthur Street

Thursday, Nov. 19th, 10:30 a.m. – Klamath County Public Library (downtown)

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