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Soil Removal and Phase 2 Lead Sampling to Begin in Pittsburg, Kan.

Release Date: 10/14/2009
Contact Information: Beckie Himes, (913) 551-7253, himes.beckie@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., October 14, 2009) - EPA Region 7 and its contractors will start to excavate and remove lead-contaminated soils from approximately 30 properties in Pittsburg, Kan., beginning the week of October 26, 2009.

The removal work, which will focus on properties with lead levels of 550 parts per million or greater, is expected to last for several months. As the soil removal work gets underway, EPA will also begin its Residential Lead Sampling Phase 2 activities in order to further define the extent of lead contamination in the Pittsburg community. Additional properties to the southeast, north and northeast of former smelter sites are expected to be sampled.

EPA, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the City of Pittsburg will hold a public availability session to provide information and answer questions about the soil removal and soil sampling activities. The public availability session will be held from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2009, at the Schlanger Park Community Building, 725 E. 6th, in Pittsburg.

Pittsburg's lead contamination is the result of lead smelting operations that existed in the city from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Three of the smelters, owned by Robert Lanyon, S.H. Lanyon, and W&J Lanyon, are collectively known as the Pittsburg Zinc Smelters. Although the smelters themselves are long gone, environmental contamination from their operation remains. The former smelter sites have been referred to KDHE for possible enrollment in the voluntary cleanup program.

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More information on EPA's Superfund process

More information about lead

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