Covering Kentucky

Dec 9, 2012 4:22 PM

Soil Samples Taken At Homes Near Superfund Site

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - More soil samples are being taken at homes near a federal Superfund cleanup site in Louisville in an effort to determine how far toxic contamination has spread from the former industrial site.

The Courier-Journal reports (http://cjky.it/TL6Gg1 ) that state and federal regulators sampled soil from 18 homes near the former Black Leaf chemical facility in mid-November and results are expected this month.

Tim Hubbard, assistant director of Kentucky Division of Waste Management, said the properties are in the 1500, 1600 and 1700 blocks of Wilson Avenue. He said the results will help officials determine whether any more properties should be sampled, because officials are not sure how far any contamination might have spread.

"It's always a phased approach when you are doing an investigation on any site like this," he said.

Art Smith, on-scene coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency, said residents will be informed of the latest results individually before the results are made public.

Earlier this year, the EPA sampled soil from 50 homes on St. Louis Street and Wilson Avenue. In May, the EPA compared the findings from those samples to two thresholds - one used to determine whether additional testing is needed and another for determining whether contamination needs to be cleaned up. All 50 samples had at least one pollutant that exceeded the first threshold. Nine exceeded the higher threshold.

Arsenic, a known carcinogen; lead, a neurotoxin; and benzo(a)pyrene, considered a probable cancer agent, were among the pollutants found at higher concentrations. They also tested for pesticides DDT and dieldrin, and at least one yard tested positive.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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