Abnormal levels of arsenic found in two Black Leaf residents - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Abnormal levels of arsenic found in two Black Leaf residents

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --Abnormal levels of arsenic have been found in two people who live near the old Black Leaf pesticide plant.

Residents hope to learn just how serious the problem is during an important meeting Saturday morning.

U of L has tested some 50 people who live near the abandoned, contaminated Black Leaf plant. Now those results are back.

Marvin Hayes has already received the bad news.

"They were off the chart. Let's just put it like that," said Hayes.

He says that he and his wife have tested positive for high levels of arsenic.

"The test results are high, and I'm afraid of that because I don't know what's coming down the line," he said.

Hayes lives right next door to the plant.

It was abandoned nearly 30 years ago, but the property still contains a toxic mix of chemicals which have seeped into the surrounding neighborhood.

The EPA has replaced the dirt in Hayes' yard, but he's not satisfied with the extent of the cleanup

"I got a pipe running from this side of the house, the company side, a sewer pipe running directly into my basement. And I'm kind of afraid that's one of the sources," said Hayes.

But Eddie Virden is even less satisfied. He says he and his wife both tested positive for lead and arsenic. He's not sure if the level is above normal, but he's worried.

He lives a half-block from the plant -- too far away to receive the EPA cleanup.

"So what about the rest of us? If I tested positive, it has to be in the dirt," said Virden.

Residents hope to get more answers during a Saturday meeting being hosted by 6th District Metro Councilman David James.

"Right now, it's a zone of danger. It's unhealthy," said James.

James says settlement negotiations continue between the EPA and the plant's former owner.

"We're at a critical stage now, and I hope to see some movement in the very near future," he said.

Meanwhile, Hayes got a follow-up visit from the U of L research team that conducted the screening.

His family needs to be re-tested to see if the arsenic levels have decreased since the cleanup.

"I hope nobody is in danger around here from this company being contaminated," said Hayes.

The meeting is set for Saturday morning at 10:00 at the California Community Center, 1600 W. St. Catherine St.

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