Potential development on the Bachman Farm may be impacted by the presence of naturally-occurring asbestos on the land. Asbestos has been linked to several respiratory problems, including but not limited to lung cancer, according the United States Environmental Protection Agency. These problems can sometimes take up to 40 years to develop.
The Bachman Farm makes up a large portion of a special study area currently under review by a citizen task force. The 116-acre parcel is just south of Lake Fairfax Park and has an approved plan to build 52 houses. The houses have not been built. The area is part of a 314-acre parcel under review for potentially increasing the density on the land.
According to a confidential opinion from the Office of the County Attorney dated April 1, 2002, a private contractor drilled and blasted an area within Lake Fairfax Park in order to put in a sewer line to serve the property.
That area of the park also contains naturally-occurring asbestos. The soil was then moved to the Bachman property where it was left, and as of the date of the opinion was undisturbed. Both the soil from Lake Fairfax Park, which was piled on the Bachman Farm and the farm itself have naturally-occurring asbestos.
The opinion states that if any land disturbing activities — building a house would disturb the land — were to take place on the property the Health Department should be notified.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site, naturally occurring asbestos does not pose a health threat if the soil is left undisturbed.
— Ari Cetron