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Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  How does EPA clean up yards? 

 A:  Soil is excavated, removed and disposed off-site, and backfilled with clean soil purchased off site from a borrow pit.  The proposed backfill soil will be sampled at the borrow pit and verified clean by analytical testing prior to transportation and placement in yards.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  Will owners have a choice about whether or not to move forward with the removal? 

A:  Yes. Owners do not have to agree to a removal.  A change of mind is OK as long as EPA is still in the field and the site is not closed.  Once the site is closed, it is difficult and rare to restart removal actions.


Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  If soil sample concentrations are high, will EPA notify the owner of further action?

A:  Yes, EPA will notify the owner and brief them on the process, the remedy, and further actions. The owner will need to give permission to EPA to perform removal actions. Pre-removal documentation will be conducted to ensure the property is restored to pre-removal conditions.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  Once the testing is done, will EPA share the results with the owner?

A:  Yes, the landowner can indicate that they want results sent to them as part of the access agreement. If that question is not answered on the access agreement, EPA will send the results to the owner by default.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  Since soil contamination is along the creek, where will EPA take samples?


A:  EPA will collect representative samples in available yards on all sides of the residence on the property.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/31/2020 FAQs

Q:  If you sign an access agreement, can you change your mind?

A:  Yes.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  If the contaminated soil becomes dry & dusty, can that dust become airborne and contaminate further areas?

A:  If lead exists in the soil it is possible for this mixture to be moved by the wind. Keep in mind that the type of soil and vegetation in the area play a role in dust creation. For example, a dry and barren field would produce more dust than land covered in grass.


Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  Is there a risk to wildlife and pets if they are around the creek?

A:  EPA would recommend limiting the use of the creek until the site is more fully evaluated. Lead levels could be a concern to pets in some areas.


Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  Do we need to make sure our kids stay out of the creek?

A:  EPA would recommend limiting the use of the creek at this time. It is better to proceed with caution until the location of lead in the environment is better understood. In general, to prevent contact with lead in soil it is best to remove shoes before entering the house and wash your hands.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  The soil lead levels fluctuate a tremendous amount most of the way down the creek where the testing was performed. How could that happen?

 

A:  EPA will be conducting additional sampling to further characterize soil lead levels along the creek and in the residential soil. It is not possible at this time to determine if the source of the lead in soil is related to surface water deposition along the creek or from some other transport mechanism.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  With homes along the creek, can the lead in the soil contaminate the creek water too?

A:  Lead can be transported in surface water but EPA has not yet sampled the surface water in the creek due to the Covid-19 related delays. It is possible for soil with lead contamination to be transported into the creek during rain events. 



Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  What does the EPA consider to be a hazardous level of lead in the soil?  

A:  The lead residential soil screening level is 400 ppm.



Frequently Asked Questions 8/11/2020 FAQs

Q:  Lead can be spread via water and air – correct? 

A:  Lead can be transported in surface water. EPA has not yet sampled the surface water due to the Covid-19 related delays. Lead does not evaporate into the air, but, it is possible for lead to attach to soil and be blown by the wind.