Nick Norman is getting a new yard.
Norman said his home off Mill Hill Road outside St. Clair is getting a new layer of topsoil and sod after high levels of lead were found on the site. His property is part of an EPA superfund site.
The area of Franklin County was home to lead mines years ago. According to the EPA, in the 1830s Franklin County had at least six different lead mines and eight lead smelters.
The result of the lead operations has been reports of lead-contaminated groundwater and soil. The EPA set up a superfund site to handle any contamination.
Norman said his property was first tested back in 2006 when the EPA initially came out to the area to test the soil. More than a decade after his family yard was tested, Norman said he was told his yard qualified as contaminated.
Norman said crews were removing the top 6 inches of dirt, replacing it with clean dirt and adding new sod.
The groundwater on the property also was tested. Norman said he was told it is in the safe zone, but he and has family bought proper scrubbers to clean up the water anyway.
Norman is not alone. According to a release from the EPA in August of this year, after the 2006 tests, more testing was done in the area in 2015 and 2016. As a result, 400 residential properties and 301 private wells have been checked for lead.
Norman said while he is still confused about the decade-plus gap between the initial testing and the soil removal, he was at least thankful the situation was being addressed. He wanted to encourage other people living near a former lead mine site to get their soil tested.
The EPA said anyone wanting to have soil and/or well water analyzed for lead, should contact the on-scene coordinator, Randolph Brown. He can be reached at 913-551-7978 or 1-800-223-0425. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.