UPDATE: On Monday, September 9th, the EPA will give an update on the Southside lead cleanup project.

Eight years ago, there were reports of people having elevated blood lead level in Chattanooga.

Since then, they have been testing soil and removing lead from several areas around that neighborhood. It all started with eighty-four properties located on Read Avenue, Mitchell Avenue, and Underwood Street. As of February of this year, the EPA began the cleanup of 25 additional properties in Highland Park. 

The next soil sampling will happen next Monday. The EPA will be hosting two public availability sessions on Thursday, September 26th at the Southside Chattanooga Recreation Center.  The first session will be held from 12 – 2 pm and the second session will be held from 6 – 8 pm.  EPA representatives will be available to answer any questions or address concerns you may have regarding the site.

PREVIOUS STORY: The EPA will host a public meeting Thursday night for the Southside Chattanooga Lead Superfund Site Cleanup.

The meeting will take place from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the South Chattanooga Recreation Center on West 40th Street.

EPA staff will present the preferred alternative for cleanup of the site.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Environmental Protection Agency said it will advance cleanup of lead-contaminated soil in Southside Chattanooga.

Tuesday, the EPA said they added the issue to their Superfund National Priorities List.

Dangerous lead levels have been found in several communities in the southwestern part of the Scenic City. Those areas include Alton Park, Cowart Place, Jefferson Heights, Richmond and the Southside Gardens areas.

“The addition of Southside Chattanooga Lead to the Superfund National Priorities List will ensure it is cleaned up for the benefit of the residents and communities in the affected areas,” EPA Regional Administrator Trey Glenn said. “These communities become healthier places to live and redevelopment is made possible.”

The lead in the soil is from foundry operations in Chattanooga decades ago.

“We are pleased for the city and its residents that an avenue like the National Priorities List exists to clean up this site,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian. “This action will provide the funding and framework needed to get this hazardous material cleaned up and remove the threat to the public. It is absolutely the right thing to do.”

Chattanooga is one of five sites that were added to Superfund National Priorities List.

“In adding these sites to the NPL, EPA is carrying out one of our core responsibilities to the American people,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Cleaning up sites that pose risks to public health and the environment is a critical part of our mission and it provides significant health and economic benefits to communities across the country.”

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this developing story.