Residents concerned about contaminated soil from old chemical site

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 12:21 AM

(WHAS11) -- The signs say it all outside the former Black Leaf Chemical Company near Dixie Highway and Wilson Ave.

Chemical run off has landed in the yards of nearby residents.

They’re concerned about their health, they’re concerned about their children's health, they're concerned about the food that they grow in their yards,” Councilman David James said.

The contaminants include arsenic, lead and pesticides. EPA officials believe the compounds stuck around after three chemical companies operated in succession at the site before closing some 50 years ago.

We're especially concerned about lead in nine of those properties. Lead is known to be a threat to children who play in the yards where elevated levels of lead are found,” Art Smith, with the EPA, said.

The Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA have offered to dig up the bad soil at nearby homes and replace it. Many residents don’t feel it’s a real solution to the problem.

The State is going after former companies who operated there after the chemical companies and essentially inherited the problem. An attorney for the Commonwealth revealed one company they are in legal negotiations with is Exxon Mobil. They are asking the company to do their part in cleaning up the site and they are also asking them to pay for the work they are doing in the nearby yards, which could top $1.5 million.

Residents who agree to have their soil replaced should see work begin in August.

 

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