32 years after poisoning, cleanup launched at arsenic site
KENT, N.Y. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a Superfund cleanup of a neighborhood in New York contaminated with arsenic from a 19th-century mine.
The contamination first came to the agency’s attention in 1987 when two residents were hospitalized with arsenic poisoning from their well water in Kent, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of New York City.
The EPA installed a tank for trucked-in water at their home. Officials did soil testing in 2017 after the alternative water supply was contaminated with arsenic.
High soil levels of the toxic metal in the 12-acre area prompted a health advisory this past April. EPA crews covered some yards with wood chips and stone to prevent contact.
The agency says it didn’t propose a soil cleanup in the 1980s because it was asked only to investigate and protect drinking water.
But the recent discovery of contaminated soil has it taking further steps now.