Cleanup Planned at Residences Near Former Black Leaf Chemical Site

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are planning to conduct cleanup at several residential properties located along Wilson Avenue and St. Louis Avenue in Louisville.   These properties are directly adjacent to a industrial property formerly used as a pesticide manufacturing facility known as “Black Leaf Chemical” and later used for the purpose of manufacturing wooden drums for storing distilled beverages.

EPA and DEP conducted soil sampling of these residential properties in February 2012 and November 2012 because of concerns that contamination may have migrated onto these properties from the Black Leaf Chemical property.   The sampling conducted at these residential properties detected the presence of contamination.   The contaminants found in the residential yards include a family of organic chemicals referred to as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and to a lesser degree lead, pesticides and arsenic.

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.

DEP and EPA have scheduled a public meeting for June 27.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm and will be held at the St. Stephen Church located at 1018 South 15th Street in Louisville.  The purpose of the meeting is to better inform the public regarding the cleanup and to answer questions and concerns from the public.

The agencies anticipate starting the cleanup between mid-July to early-August 2013. Questions can be directed to Tony Hatton, Director of the Division of Waste Management at (502) 564-6716.

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