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Inspectors return to Long Lane

8/3/2018

By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

Officials with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet were on Long Lane recently to investigate whether there was any groundwater in the bedrock that might contribute to contamination.

Cliff Hall, state section supervisor with the cabinet’s Superfund Program, said inspectors wanted to see if any contaminated ground water might make its way into the nearby Aaron’s Run watershed.

Based on four 100 foot drillings, Hall said they found no evidence that was happening.

“We didn’t have reason to believe there would be any contamination at depth, but we didn’t want to leave that uninvestigated,” he said.
While there appears to be no groundwater users on Long Lane, Hall said, officials wanted to check because there are groundwater users along Aaron’s Run.

“We don’t believe there are any exposure pathways, but you have to be concerned about a future pathway if somebody installs a well,” he said.
Hall said he would advise any residents in the Long Lane-Aaron’s Run area against building water wells for human consumption.

High levels of arsenic were found in the soil along Long Lane in 2016 after an employee with the Dept. of Environmental Protection went to the site to get measurements while following up on potentially toxic Superfund disposal sites.

Southern Wood Treatment Co. had operated a treatment plant at the location from 1973 to 1984. Some of the materials from the closed plant were buried on the property.

The Superfund Program is charged with protecting human health and the environment from the release of hazardous substances, petroleum pollution or contaminants into the environment, the dept. website explains.

The state conducted a cleanup of the site in which contractors were brought in to remove the contaminated dirt and replace it with safe dirt.
Residents were asked to leave the location while the cleanup took place. They were allowed to move back in in January 2017, but most residents opted not to return. As of last count there were 10 to 12 residents still living on Long Lane.

The Montgomery County Health Dept., working in conjunction with the Kentucky Dept. of Epidemiology, and the University of Kentucky, took nail clippings from 84 residents along the road to test for elevated levels of arsenic.

Elevated levels were reported among 56 percent, according to one official.

Nail clippings were chosen rather than urine samples because the clippings measure levels over a long period (six to 12 months), officials said.

Remaining residents are now having their arsenic levels tested every six months.

The results show that the remediation of the soil that was conducted there is working, the county’s public health director told the board of health previously.

Shortly after the cleanup started a group of residents filed a lawsuit against Southern Wood and the estates of the former ownership claiming their health was put at risk.

Hall said his agency can only follow up as funding becomes available.