"DHEC To Review Hidden AVX Data in Myrtle Beach"

"FLORENCE, S. Carolina -- The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will review documents that AVX Corp. kept hidden for nearly 30 years to see if it warrants a criminal investigation of the company and its executives.

The documents - revealed for the first time during an ongoing civil trial in federal court here - show AVX officials knew as early as June 1981 that a toxic degreaser called trichloroethylene was potentially spreading through groundwater from the manufacturer's site to adjacent properties, threatening city and private wells and the Pee Dee aquifer.

That contamination has since spread to groundwater in a roughly 10-block Myrtle Beach neighborhood northeast of AVX's plant on 17th Avenue South.

Despite consultants' repeated warnings that testing was necessary, court testimony shows the company did nothing for decades to determine whether the pollution was a threat to its neighbors."

David Wren reports for the Myrtle Beach, SC, Sun News March 6, 2011.

Monday, March 7, 2011