After months-long delay, EPA to begin removing toxic soil under Kalihi street this month

Updated: Jan. 9, 2020 at 4:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Efforts to remove lead-contaminated soil under a street in Kalhi will finally begin this month.

On Thursday, the EPA announced the long-delayed work to remove the toxic soil under Factory Street will start the week of Jan. 20.

The project was supposed to happen in October, but the agency needed more time to find a disposal site. They’ve decided to use a licensed facility on the mainland.

The clean-up is expected to take five to seven weeks and the EPA says proper dust control measures will be in place.

Tests show the highest concentrations of lead are close to where Factory Street meets North King. The project site itself is about 6.400 square feet in size.

Close to 2000 people live within a tenth of a mile of the site.

Officials with the EPA have said the levels of lead on the street are so high someone could potentially be exposed by simply walking down the street.

It’s believed the soil was polluted by a company that manufactured lead fishing weights.

Normal levels of lead found in someone’s backyard are around 200 mg/kg.

Samples taken by the state in 2017 revealed concentrations of more than 24,000 mg/kg under the road and along the shoulder of Factory Street.

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