NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday October 22nd 2018

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Recovery Act Project Activity to Remove Soil at Arsenic Levels That Pose Long-Term Health Threat to Residents

EPA will use the $10-25 million in Recovery Act funds allocated to the Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination site to conduct all cleanup and restoration work at the approximately 500 remaining residential properties with soils above the arsenic soil cleanup standard. The activities include the excavation and off-site disposal of all contaminated soil above the cleanup standard, with excavation to occur to a depth of 12 inches in lawn areas and 18 inches in garden areas.

If confirmation samples from the base of the excavation show arsenic levels above the acute arsenic cleanup standard, EPA will continue excavating soil until the acute standard is met or foundation depth is reach. Once excavation is complete, the properties will be restored to their original condition. The activities also include establishing institutional controls on properties where excavation is not possible due to access restrictions. Concerning the possibility of household pesticide Application Skewing EPA Date, the EPA replied that, “If common use pesticides was the primary explanation for the residential arsenic contamination at the site we would expect elevated levels on properties from both pre and post 1960 periods (of homes built). However we do not. This all indicates that elevated arsenic levels resulted from some source other than pesticide application.

All of this information supports EPA’s conclusion that the former plant site caused elevated levels of arsenic in the soils of the surrounding areas, and that the area affected is limited to the current investigation area as defined by the results of the EPA’s air dispersion model.”
-Source, EPA Responsiveness Summary to Public Comment (from June 2 through July 1, 2008) Available on the web.

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