COLUMBIA, SC — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control halted the demolition of a building on Catawba Street earlier this week after work crews disturbed soil at the site, which once was the focus of a federal pollution cleanup.
Few details were available Friday afternoon, but DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley said the work stoppage occurred at an old fertilizer site. DHEC ordered a silt fence to be erected in the area of the demolition to keep soil from washing off the property, he said in an email.
“On Wednesday, members of our staff were at a nearby site and observed a contractor doing some demolition work at the site on Catawba St,’’ Beasley said in an email to The State. “It appeared the building's foundation was being removed, which disturbed soil that is known to be part of the former Columbia Fertilizer site. Demolition was halted and a silt fence erected to prevent soil from leaving that property.’’
An EPA directed pollution cleanup occurred in the area in 2010. It was unclear Friday if DHEC had concerns about any lingering contamination of the property where the building was being torn down. The building is in the area of the 700 block of Catawba Street between Assembly and Huger streets.
-- Sammy Fretwell