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David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548
PALMERTON, Pa. - The United States Environmental Protection Agency today began mailing out the first test results from Phase I residential soil sampling. The results show only about 13 percent of the residential properties that were tested contain lead exceeding the action levels of 650 parts per million for yards, and 400 parts per million for play areas.
EPA will complete the mailing of test results by the end of February. Property owners whose properties have these elevated levels will be contacted in the spring regarding the next steps in the cleanup process. Property owners whose yards and play areas tested below the action levels will receive letters from EPA stating that their property was tested and that the results indicate that no further testing or cleanup is required.
Cumming/Riter Consultants, is the contractor conducting the work on behalf of Viacom International, Inc. and Horsehead Industries, Inc. with the supervision of EPA.
Approximately 850 properties were tested during the first phase. Cummings/Riter is also sending out certified letters to those property owners who did not respond to the initial request for testing in the fall, offering them one more opportunity for soil testing. If they refuse testing or do not respond, then they will be responsible for assuring that their property is free from contamination in the future.
Once the weather breaks in the Palmerton area, Cummings/Riter will complete sampling the Phase I residents who have given permission for sampling.