The Edisto Court community in South Columbia, S.C., is grappling with soil contamination, according to this report. The Environmental Protection Agency found lead and arsenic contamination ranging from nine to 39 times higher than acceptable limits.
Of 45 yards tested, 12 came up positive in this second round of tests. Earlier, state health department officials found elevated levels of lead and arsenic in yards on Easy Street as well. Residents are being tested for toxic levels of metals as lead causes learning disabilities in children, and arsenic is connected with some types of cancer.
The likely culprit that caused the pollution, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, is a fertilizer plant that has been closed since the 1930s. The EPA will consider whether the contamination can be cleaned up at taxpayer expense, with a decision expected sometime next year.