The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to closely review and act on the issues raised in
the Wall Street Journal’s investigation of lead-covered telecommunications cables across the U.S. Preventing
lead exposure is an important part of EPA’s public health mission. As part of this work, EPA, in coordination with
the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, completed sampling in St. Martin, Iberia, St. Mary,
Ascension, Assumption, St. Charles, and Orleans Parishes. EPA’s scientific review of the data and current
conditions in the area indicates that there are no immediate threats requiring prompt action to protect the
health of people nearby.
The results do show that some soil samples have lead concentrations above an EPA screening level of 400
parts per million. EPA’s assessment of the data takes into account that most sample locations are in isolated
areas where people are unlikely to congregate. Most areas are also covered with grass, which provides a
natural barrier to reduce exposure.
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