DHEC detects asbestos in pile of debris on Ocean Boulevard

A pile of debris that's an estimated 80 feet by 70 feet by 25 feet sits outside a Myrtle Beach motel on Ocean Boulevard that's slated to be demolished.

Friday, the Department of Health and Environmental Control found small amounts of asbestos in the pile, though it's not entirely clear where all of the debris came from.

Some of it could be left over from the nearby Golden Sands demolition in January, or from the interior of the Holiday South as it's prepared to be torn down, or it could be from somewhere else entirely, according to Myrtle Beach Spokesman Mark Kruea.

Bruce Barnes, who's been staying next door says he's seen what he believes to be illegal dumping.

"There's been other people dumping stuff in here too. We've seen a pick-up truck or two come and throw stuff on the pile too," said Barnes.

Jim Beasley with DHEC confirms they've received complaints about construction and demolition waste being dumped at the site.

Kruea says a contractor brought debris from a house being worked on to the Holiday South Motel site.

The demolition of the Holiday South is pending DHEC's asbestos inspection.

"We can't issue a demolition permit until the state has done an asbestos inspection, the asbestos has been removed, and we get the certificate saying there's no asbestos in the building," said Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach city spokesman.

For Dan Pahon, the maintenance manager at Vancouver Motel, which stands right next to the debris, says it's the asbestos in that debris pile that worries him.

"They need to get this covered at least, and somebody come in and do something about this mess. Summer is here already, the tourist season started. We're full over here, and we got people asking us questions every day about this mess," said Pahon.

For disposal, the entire pile of debris will be treated as if it's all contaminated, since DHEC can't estimate the total quantity of asbestos in the pile.

Asbestos fibers can be toxic if inhaled, and can cause lung cancer.

DHEC says everything is under investigation and can't comment any further.