Massive burning trash pile in Jasper County mostly contained

Updated: Aug. 29, 2019 at 6:13 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - An enormous trash pile burning for weeks in Jasper County is mostly contained now, and a transition is in the works to begin clean-up efforts at the Able Contracting site.

Those details were shared during a press conference on Thursday. The smoke and fire have mostly been contained, but what’s ahead is a hand off from the EPA to state representatives.

“Because EPA, when they leave, it doesn’t mean that we’re done with this site. The ultimate objective is to completely remove that debris pile. It shouldn’t be here in the first place," said South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis.

Sen. Davis, along with U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham, pledged their full support.

“This has been a huge and serious disruption in our community. It’s about getting this stabilized, trying to right a wrong," Rep. Cunningham said.

The EPA estimates there was about 60,000 tons of debris at the Able Contracting site when it intervened. To date, 5,000 tons of debris have been removed.

While the fire is contained, residents who were evacuated to hotels are not yet allowed to return home.

“As you can see, there is a lot of truck traffic in and out of here. We don’t want to endanger, especially any of the children that might be in the houses,” said Steve Spurlin, EPA, Region 4.

The big question is how much it will cost taxpayers to clean up the entire site? So far, it has cost about a half a million dollars from the EPA’s involvement.

We do know that lawmakers have made it really clear that Able Contracting is going to end up footing the bill when it’s all said and done.

For daily updates about the clean-up efforts, click here.

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