Environment
3:00 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Councilman David James Asks EPA to Address Black Leaf Contamination With Community

District 6 Councilman David James is requesting the Environmental Protection Agency hold a public meeting to address recent soil testing near the Black Leaf Chemical site.

As we reported yesterday, the EPA found various levels of contamination in all 50 homes it tested near the Black Leaf Chemical site. Nine of those homes—nearly 20 percent—had higher levels of contaminates, including lead and benzo(a)pyrene, a probable carcinogen.

James sent an email to the agency this morning, as first reported by LEO Weekly. Legislative aid Rob Holtzmann confirmed the email, and said James wants the agency to meet with residents to clarify the results of the testing and what it could mean for the community.

“We’re very concerned about the communication level coming from the EPA about what’s really happening over there in the neighborhood,” Holtzmann said.

He added that there are still unanswered questions, and the contamination could have spread even further.

“Frankly, if there’s an issue with 50 properties in all of the properties have been tested here, there probably is a problem with more than just those 50,” he said. “So that’s really where we need to go. We need to ask those questions and really get engaged and get to the bottom of what’s happening.”

Holtzmann said James is also requesting a private meeting with the EPA later this week.