The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public meeting today (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at South Chattanooga Recreation Center, 1151 West 40th St., to announce plans to study lead in residential soil, focusing on a small number of residential areas in downtown/Southside Chattanooga.
The study, to be conducted by EPA in collaboration with the Tennessee Department Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Health, is a follow-up to the 2013 EPA clean up at Read and Mitchell Avenues.
In that case, 84 residential yards were cleaned up due to lead contamination. The soil study is needed to determine whether other residential areas are impacted by lead-contaminated foundry waste. EPA and TDEC have identified a small number of residential areas that warrant further study, officials said.
The proposed study will focus on public health, and is limited to the top few inches of soil in residential yards – where people could come into contact with lead, if it is present. Sampling teams will screen residential soil for lead, and permission will be obtained from each resident/property owner.
If lead is detected beyond what is normally found in an urban environment, EPA and TDEC will use bioavailability testing and risk assessment modeling to determine if there is a need for further action.