Frequently Asked Questions United Zinc #1 - Time-Critical Removal, Iola, Kansas
This fact sheet addresses frequently asked questions from citizens of Iola, Kansas.
What is the removal process?
The EPA will screen to detect levels of lead contamination over 800 parts per million in yards. If lead levels exceed the cleanup criteria, the homeowner will be notified as soon as possible, and EPA will schedule a time to address the lead at the property. After all utility lines are located; the contaminated soil will be excavated and replaced with clean soil to its original grade. The soil will then be seeded.
Will landowners be required to allow access for sampling and cleanup of their properties? How does EPA handle individuals that do not want their property tested or cleaned up?
Current EPA policy is to require all landowners located in the area of contamination to provide access by signing an access agreement for sampling purposes. Current EPA policy also requires that all landlords provide access for sampling, and if necessary cleanup their properties. EPA policy does not require all landowners to provide access for the purpose of cleanup.
If a property is found to have unacceptable levels of lead contamination in the soil, and a property owner (who is not a landlord) does not want the property cleaned up, the EPA will not require cleanup under this policy. However, the EPA would need some form of deed notice so that future property owners will have notice that the property is contaminated.
How does the EPA handle getting permission from absentee landowners? What if an absentee landowner wants to deny access?
The EPA will attempt to locate the absentee landowner. EPA has had success in locating absentee landlords at other sites. The policies regarding access as outlined in the previous question apply to absentee landowners.
How can I obtain an access agreement?
Access agreements are available at City Hall, and can be filled out and returned to City Hall. You can also request access agreements by calling Belinda Young, EPA, at 800-223-0425 or (913) 551-7463.
How quickly will I know if my yard exceeds acceptable lead levels?
After receiving a signed access agreement, the EPA will screen your yard. Screening results are provided to the home owner upon completion of the field screening and sampling efforts. The field screening results are provided the same day the yard is sampled.
If my property screening results are greater than 800 parts per million, when will it be cleaned up?
EPA is committed to excavate and remove all soil and/or waste from residential properties where a composite sample exceeds 800 parts per million of lead contamination. Non-residential properties will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The properties are prioritized based on:
- High child impact areas such as schools and daycare facilities with soil containing lead concentrations over 400 parts per million
- Properties where a child with elevated blood lead level resides, and the property exceeds 400 parts per million
- Properties that have the highest level of contamination (measured in parts per million)
EPA will be screening throughout the winter months. EPA plans to return in the spring and continue excavations at those properties that exceed 800 parts per million.
Will my property be cleaned up if the screening results are greater than 400 parts per million but less than 800 parts per million?
Not at this time. This site will have to be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) to compete with other sites nationally for funding the long-term cleanup actions. Further discussions will take place with the State of Kansas and the City to assess long-term health risks and to determine next steps.
Is there a cost to the homeowner?
EPA will excavate lead contaminated soil, restore the yard back to its original condition, and apply seed to the soil. The only cost to the homeowner is the need to water the soil after it has been seeded.
What about commercial properties that exceed 1000 parts per million?
EPA plans to prioritize contaminated properties that pose immediate health risks. Commercial properties typically pose a lower threat to children.
EPA will excavate these properties on a case-by-case basis.
Will the current Superfund actions that EPA conducts on my property affect the property value?
NO. Once EPA has cleaned up the lead-contaminated soil, it will be backfilled to its original condition and seeded.
Is there a Website I can visit to learn more about this site?
All EPA information pertaining to this Time-Critical Removal is listed on the EPA On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) Website: http://www.epaosc.org/
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Office of External Programs
Environmental Protection Agency
901 N. Fifth St.
Kansas City, KS 66101
(800) 223-0425 or (913) 551-7463