EPA oversees cleanup of Old Barwick Mills plant in Lafayette

Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyCam

The EPA is overseeing a massive cleanup of the Old Barwick Mills plant in Lafayette.

The building burnt down in November of 2015.

Angela Cagle has been looking at it from her hair salon since then.

"It did smell that entire time. Sometimes it would be really bad," she said. "It was almost a rotten sweet smell. I don't know how to describe it."

David Andrews is overseeing the project for the EPA.

"It's taken a long time to get together with the owner and operator to come to an agreement that will fund this cleanup," he said.

He says the owner is now paying for four contractors to knock down the parts of the building that are unstable.

The most dangerous part is the release of asbestos into the air during that process. Andrews says breathing it in can cause lung cancer.

To suppress the dust, crews continuously sprayed down the materials with water.

Other workers on the opposite side, are pumping old contaminated runoff into trucks.

The trucks will take the water South of Atlanta to be treated. Andrews says surprisingly that's cheaper than treating it here in town.

The EPA says it will take another three to five months to finish.

Then, it will be up to the owner what happens to the property.

Officials still don't know the cause of the fire.

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