KNOXVILLE - The amount of contaminated dirt found during cleanup of a sinkhole where debris from an old railroad yard was dumped suggests the demolition material was mishandled, a state environmental official says.
Ten percent to 15 percent of the material coming out of the south Knox County sinkhole is the black, polluted soil that originated at the Coster Shop redevelopment site, said Mike Apple, head of the state Department of Environment and Conservation's solid waste management division.
"We were a little surprised by the volume of soil at the site," Apple said. "It shows a lack of understanding about what we wanted done out there. We wanted better management of the concrete removal."
Environmental officials told the city's demolition contractors that it would be OK to remove dirt stuck to the concrete debris, but Apple said evidence from the sinkhole cleanup suggests too much soil was taken.