Positive Words on Cleanup Progress

Photo by Cheryl Harris

In the largest residential superfund cleanup in Kentucky’s history, the Park Hill neighborhood in Louisville, Ky., is seeing progress. One reason this monumental cleanup is so unique is because it’s taking place in people’s back yards – literally.

To date, 22 residential properties have been excavated and backfilled with clean soil and almost all have new sod or seed. Five new access agreements were received this week, bringing the total number of properties allowing cleanup to 65.

With roughly one-third of the yards completed, residents and owners are weighing in with their comments on the work being done in their neighborhood:

 “The crew did a wonderful job. I am 100% satisfied with the quality of the work.”

“The yard looked great. We appreciated the sod and nice job with the trees. I think you did a nice job and got in and out with little disturbance to the tenants. I wish more people would participate. We were very pleased with the work, professionalism and promptness.”

 “My sister loves the yard and how it looks. We’re most definitely pleased with the quality of the work.”

While KDEP and U.S. EPA are committed to protecting the people and providing quality service in this cleanup, the effort would not be as successful without the participation and help of the people of Park Hill. Together we are working to make positive differences in the neighborhood and people’s lives.

Despite recent heavy rains in Louisville, the hard work continues. Cleanup of five additional yards is in progress.

“The area had 7.5 inches of rain last week,” said Cheryl Harris, KDEP project manager. “Due to the heavy rainfall, no work on the lots occurred this past Monday. The rain has also caused a shortage of backfill material (it is too wet to haul) and has delayed delivery of sod (it is too wet to cut).”

Harris said a gravel path was put in place across two yards to allow equipment to work without tracking excessive amounts of mud onto the roadway and to prevent equipment tires from sinking and spinning in mud during excavation activities. The work must continue, especially in light of the impending winter weather.

An information center continues to be set up in the Park Hill neighborhood at 17th and Wilson Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays (weather permitting). Operating hours are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Residents can stop by with questions, pick up printed materials, and owners can even still sign access agreements there.

Current information is also posted here, on KDEP’s blog, Naturally Connected.

For additional information, contact Kentucky Division of Waste Management staff Tim Hubbard or Sheri Adkins at 502‐564‐6716. For properties being cleaned up by EPA, contact Art Smith, EPA on-scene coordinator, at 502‐582‐5161.

In this cleanup, the state and U.S. EPA are replacing soil and sod in 65 yards in Louisville, Ky., as an important step in reducing residents’ exposure to contamination. These yards border a superfund site, the former Black Leaf Chemical property. Read all KDEP posts related to this cleanup here.