Saturday, December 6, 2003

Lead cleanup under way

Work being done on land east of Lexington Manor

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

LIBERTY TWP. - Efforts to clean up a lead- and arsenic-contaminated neighborhood have moved outside the Lexington Manor subdivision.

Work is under way on a 10-acre site east of the subdivision with five properties - one on Millikin Road and four on Megan Drive. Dirt excavation started at the end of October.

Steve Renninger, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the cleanup effort is estimated to cost $500,000 and is being paid for by the EPA.

The 10-acre site, called the Millikin Road Lead Site, was declared a Superfund site in late summer. Work started there in October.

Renninger said lead levels tested as high as 70,000 parts per million - higher than some areas in Lexington Manor. The acceptable standard of lead is 400 ppm.

"We can complete this remediation action safely with them remaining in their homes," Renninger said.

Megan Drive resident Dennis Miller said he will not have his property tested.

He feels secure that lead levels are not high on his property, which is across the street from the homes that tested high. He continues to let his 10-year-old child play outside.

In the future, he would like to see the township take steps to prevent similar situations.

Liberty Township Administrator Barry Tiffany said the township has no responsibility in the lead-contamination matter.

Lexington Manor was built in 2001 on land once used as a skeet-shooting range. Lead remediation efforts were attempted by subdivision developer Lexington Manor Inc. before homes were built.

Property tested west of Lexington Manor is not contaminated, officials said.

About 10,000 soil samples have been taken at Lexington Manor to determine the full extent of contamination. Excavation is expected to start in January and last three to six months.

Reporter Jennifer Edwards contributed to this report.

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