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EPA meeting on Ottawa, Ohio, lead waste investigation Sept. 24, 7 p.m.

Release Date: 09/16/2009
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov Virginia Narsete, 312-886-4359, narsete.virginia@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA170

(CHICAGO - Sept. 16, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, Ohio EPA and local partners will host an open-house style public meeting on expanding the investigation into the extent of buried lead contamination in Ottawa, Ohio. The meeting will be at 7 to 8:30 p.m, Thursday, Sept. 24, at Ottawa-Glandorf High School, 630 Glendale Ave., Ottawa.

In April, EPA collected soil samples from four residential properties in Ottawa where a local GTE/Sylvania/Philips facility had buried lead-contaminated glass and waste materials, primarily from the production of television tubes. The facility is now closed. The material may have been buried as long ago as the 1940s.

Lab analysis of the soil samples confirmed elevated surface soil lead levels at one of the properties. Safe levels of lead were found at the other three. EPA and Ohio EPA are now expanding the investigation to see if there are other properties with buried waste in the area. If that turns out to be the case, the agencies will work with local officials to develop a comprehensive cleanup plan. Residents with information that may be helpful for this investigation are urged to attend the meeting or contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Virginia Narsete at 312-886-4359 or narsete.virginia@epa.gov.

Elevated lead-soil contamination levels present the greatest health risks to pregnant women and young children. High blood-lead levels can cause learning and behavior problems as well as lower IQs. Children are most easily exposed by playing on bare dirt spots and swallowing the contaminated soil via hand-to-mouth ingestion.

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