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Material with asbestos found at dump site

COVINGTON - Material found at an illegal dump site on Sycamore Trail has tested positive for asbestos, according to a source with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The EPD has been investigating the dumping of massive piles of concrete blocks, asphalt and ground-up construction material on the property, located behind Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park.

Ground up tile found on the site was found to contain asbestos, said Don McCarty, district manager for the EPD's northeast district.

"I really don't think there's a huge concern of the asbestos being of a friable nature. We have to take care to properly contain it and to label it and take it to a permitted landfill," he said, adding that the material will likely be disposed at a landfill in south Fulton County.

Mobile homes, some vacant and some occupied, are located near the site, which is not a part of Riverside Park.

Most of the residents in the area are on well water and the property is located along the Yellow River, but McCarty said there appears to be no cause for concern.

"I really don't think there's a concern for the wells and river at this point," he said.

McCarty said he expects a cleanup will get under way within two weeks, but added that negotiations are still ongoing between the EPD, property owner Don Rogers and Allied Recycling, a company out of Conyers that has admitted to dumping at least part of the material.

"The property owner, and these are his words, not mine, was wanting a 'good, clean fill' to fill in some lower areas on his property," McCarty said. "He was looking for material such as broken concrete and asphalt. We don't know exactly who dumped the other material."

McCarty said Allied has admitted to dumping the asphalt and concrete but "we don't have proof" the company dumped the ground-up construction materials.

The cleanup will be conducted by a licensed asbestos contractor, McCarty said.

The EPD has not determined whether Allied or the property owner will be subject to fines, he said.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.