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EPA Halfway Through Cleanup of Contaminated Soil at 4,000 Homes in Evansville

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency is about halfway through the cleanup of an Evansville site contaminated with lead and arsenic.

The contaminated site is 4.5 square miles in the Jacobsville neighborhood of Evansville. The lead and arsenic in the soil were left over from manufacturing operations that took place more than one hundred years ago.

The site is on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List and the cleanup has been in progress for five years.

Jena Sleboda-Braun is the remedial project manager in the EPA’s Superfund Division for the Chicago region. She says residents are not being displaced during the cleanup.

“We just work on their lawns where the contamination has settled into the soil. We dig out the dirt that has the contamination and then we backfill it with clean dirt and restore the property with sod and any landscaping that was there before.”

The EPA project started five years ago and has received more than $6 million for cleanup and restoration.

President Trump has proposed major budget cuts to the EPA, but Sleboda-Braun says the project remains on track.    

“I’m not aware of any issues at this time. Every year we’ve gotten funding and I don’t have any information that that would not continue.”

The cleanup is expected to continue through 2020 and remove contamination from the soil at about 4,000 homes.

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