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Federal, State Regulators Plan Cleanup For Contaminated Homes Near Black Leaf Site


The Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection plan to remediate all 69 of the contaminated residential sites near the former Black Leaf Chemical Plant.The site is located on 29 acres in Louisville's Park Hill neighborhood, and for years was home to several pesticide manufacturing companies. Soil contamination was discovered in 2010, and last year, testing revealed that nearby yards had various levels of heavy metals, pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.But until now, it wasn't clear whether the sites would be remediated, and who would pay for the cleanup. Now, the DEP says the soil of all 69 back yards will be removed and replaced, and state funds will be used to pay for it.From the DEP's blog: DEP has identified sixty-nine residential properties that merit cleanup as a result of the   contaminants found during the sampling activity.  The cleanup will consist of removing soil from the majority of the surface area in each back yard and be replaced with clean soil and sod.  Money from the Hazardous Waste Management Fund will be used to pay for the cleanup. DEP plans to attempt to sample a few additional properties along the south side of Wilson Avenue and west of Baldwin Avenue which are adjacent to Black Leaf Chemical that were not previously sampled due the inability to obtain access during the previous sampling events.  If the sample results identify cleanup is required, the property owners will be notified as soon as possible, so as to be included in the planned cleanup efforts in the area.There will be a public meeting on June 27 at 6:30 at St. Stephen Church (1018 S. 15th Street) to answer questions about the cleanup.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.