CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Contamination concerns in west Charlotte have the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources asking for permission to drill into yards.

Letters are expected to be mailed next week with drilling to start in November. Officials want to get soil and air samples along Old Steele Creek Road, Primrose Avenue, and Willow Street to see if vapors from contaminants are lingering in homes and making people sick.

This round of testing comes after degreasers and dry cleaning chemicals known and TCE s and PCE s were found in the groundwater in that same area.

The state wants to know how much of those same contaminants are in the soil and air. The area was once an illegal dumping ground.

The problem is these soil gases can accumulate inside a closed building, said David Ramey, hydro geologist with the NCDENR.

It could make people sick, but it has everything to do with dosage and duration of exposure, he explained.

The higher the amount of contaminants, the more likely they are to cause health problems.

The state plans to drill a ten foot deep hole on ten different properties.

If testing finds contaminant vapors in high quantities inside homes, the state could install ventilation systems to keep the vapors from lingering.

The drilling will not leave big holes and will be virtually undetectable, officials said.

Officials say the groundwater contamination does not pose a health threat because the people who live there are on city water and don t use wells.

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