BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) -- The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing toxic soil testing on properties in North Birmingham and early results show chemicals like Arsenic, Benzo-a-pyrene and Lead are high.
This latest round of testing by the EPA Superfund division is designed to determine the extent and severity of toxic chemicals in yards at homes, schools, parks and churches in at least three Birmingham communities. Collegeville, Harriman Park, and Fairmont are communities adjacent to the Walter Coke plant.
Walter Coke was ordered in 1989 by the EPA to test and clean up contaminated properties in these communities, which they've completed. It wasn't long after those results came in that the EPA decided to take a closer look.
The EPA Superfund division has set up an office in Birmingham and set out to test as many as two thousand properties. EPA on scene coordinator Greg Harper says they are finished taking access agreements and were able to get on to about one- thousand, one-hundred properties to test.
Jimmy Smith is a resident in Collegeville. He says the EPA results show his yard has high levels for five different chemicals. "I'm just thankful to be here to be able to share this information which validates our suspicion which we knew all along that something was wrong out here."
Harper says the EPA will collaborate with different agencies and work to determine who will pay for the cleanup. EPA officials say they are looking at more than 100 potentially responsible parties.
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