By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer
DEERFIELD TWP. - More lead-contaminated soil has been discovered in this Warren County community, but environmental officials said Thursday an empty, 20-acre property off of King Avenue is not a public health danger.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency officials said tests on the undeveloped land, which is about a mile east of Kings Junior and Senior High School where up to 10,000 tons of lead contaminated soil is now being removed, showed high concentrations of lead.
Moreover, OEPA officials said the King Avenue site, while less toxic than Kings school grounds, is also the result of debris left from a former shooting club, which was the case with the lead skeet debris discovered on the Kings school football and baseball stadiums in August.
Scott Glum, an environmental specialist in the OEPA's Dayton office, said the contaminated soil appears to have been dumped on a corner of the 20-acre site, now being considered by a Cincinnati-based developer that wants to build a subdivision.
Glum said because the lead toxicity levels are lower, and no one is living or using the private land, state environmental agency officials have decided to allow the potential developer - Zicka Investments Inc. - time to come up with its own clean-up plan "to save taxpayer money."
Unlike the $2 million Kings school clean-up, which was large enough to qualify for supervision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the King Avenue site "is not considered a time-critical emergency situation because it does not involve a school or residential neighborhood," said Glum.
Zicka officials are seeking a zoning change to convert the King Avenue property to residential development. Deerfield Township trustees will consider the request during its May 4 meeting at 7 p.m. at Landen Station, 3292 Montgomery Road.
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