Thursday, July 1, 2004

Tests find more lead in yards


Sixth Brentwood Estates home contaminated

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

FAIRFIELD TWP. - Tanya Moore has planted flowers around her Mindy Drive home for 19 years and never found a lead shot pellet from the old skeet-shooting range on which it was built.

But the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency recently did, making her home the sixth in Butler County's Brentwood Estates subdivision with a hazardous level of lead contamination.

Several pellets were dug up around her late 1970s brick home, said Scott Glum, site coordinator for Ohio EPA's southwestern district office in Dayton.

One soil sample from the 3-to-6-inch depth registered 91,500 parts per million, far exceeding the federal residential standard of 400 parts per million, Glum said. Five other samples - ranging from 51,900 to 475 - also topped the toxic threshold on Moore's property, he said.

"I never thought it would be anything like that," said Moore, who was told about the results Monday. The previous highest reading was 44,400 parts per million in early June, Glum said.

More hazardous spots could be known at the 11 homes tested when the Ohio EPA completes analysis of May soil samples. Results of the top 3 inches, and 6- to 12-inch depths will be available in two weeks, Glum said.

After hazardous lead levels were found last month, the Ohio EPA referred the neighborhood to the U.S. EPA, which could use Superfund money to remove the lead. But the U.S. EPA won't do anything until all Ohio EPA results are in, said Rafael Gonzalez, the Chicago-based U.S. EPA spokesman for this region.

The federal agency's first step may be to hold a public meeting in August or September to explain the removal process, Gonzalez said. Then residents will be asked to permit additional testing on a tighter grid to pinpoint tainted areas.

Homeowners won't be forced to remove the lead, Glum said. But if they don't excavate it, they will have to inform potential buyers about the lead, Glum said.

Moore said she's anxious to have the toxic soil hauled off her property.

"We don't plan to sell anytime soon, but I can't sell it until it's taken care of," she said.

E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com




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