Tuesday, October 30 2012, 03:50 PM EDT
EPA Removing Lead Pollution from Yards of Southside Homes
Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the cleanup of residential yards in the Southside area of Chattanooga. The area is referred to as the Southside Lead Removal Site.
EPA started remediation of contaminated yards during the week of September 24, 2012. Currently, three residences have been completed and work on two yards started last week. The tentative schedule for the remaining yard cleanups is currently being established. Residents will be notified before cleanup of their yard is expected.
In 2011 the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) received a request from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) to help determine the origin of a lead exposure to a resident in the Southside community. TDEC subsequently contacted EPA Removal for assistance in characterizing the area around the residence. EPA conducted a large-scale assessment of 82 properties in the area and found that 52 properties had various degrees of contamination. In March of 2011, EPA, TDEC and TDH began inspection of the area around the residence. Although the origin of the resident’s lead exposure could not be determined, subsequent investigations by EPA and TDEC through 2011 and 2012 revealed soil concentrations of lead in excess of federal cleanup levels at numerous locations in the Southside neighborhood. EPA and TDEC also evaluated much of south and east Chattanooga and determined the elevated lead in soils appears to be limited to the Southside area. The exact source of lead in the soils remains unknown.
EPA will continue to keep the affected community informed of activities as they progress. The EPA has opened a community outreach center to host informal meetings and to provide a daily point of contact for residents with questions. The location of the field office is as follows:
27 W. Main Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37408
There is also a toll-free number to call and receive information or ask questions. The toll-free phone number is 1-877-718-3752, extension 28463.