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Logan Section Contamination

EPA Puts Up Orange Fencing to Protect Your Community

Question: Why is there orange fencing around the empty lots in the Logan neighborhood?

Answer: A few weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took 230 soil samples from 17 blocks of empty lots to find out whether the soil in the lots are contaminated with lead and arsenic. We put the fencing around those areas to keep you and your children safe. A guard is there 24 hours a day to make sure people don’t go past the orange barrier. EPA still needs your help to make sure you and your families continue to be protected from potential contamination while we wait for our test results. You can play a part in keeping the community safe by following these simple steps:

  1. Keep off lots with orange fencing
  2. Remind children to keep off the lots
  3. Do not remove any soil from the lots.

Question: Is my health at risk from these empty lots? Are my children safe?

Answer: EPA believes that the empty lots are currently not a health hazard to you and your families.

Question: EPA gave us a fact sheet saying our children should wash their hands before eating. Should we keep doing this?

Answer: Your children should keep washing their hands before eating as a safety measure. Also, do not use the soil for gardening unless EPA suggests otherwise.

Question: How far does the fencing go?

Answer: EPA put the fencing around 17 blocks bordered by Roosevelt Boulevard and Marshall Street on the east and southeast; Wingohocking Street on the south; 11th Street on the west; and Louden Street on the north.

Question: Why is EPA testing the empty lots?

Answer: Earlier this year, the City of Philadelphia found higher-than-normal levels of lead, arsenic and mercury in the lots. They told you the levels weren’t an immediate health risk, but they might be a potential, or long-term health hazard. Two months ago, the Logan/Olney Coalition wrote to Senator Rick Santorum about your concerns. Senator Santorum, the Logan Assistance Corporation and the City all asked EPA to investigate, and if needed, clean the area.

Question:What happens next?

Answer: EPA is waiting for the results from the 230 soil samples we took in November. When we get the results back from our lab and study them, we’ll be able to make good decisions to protect your health and the environment. And we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

Question: Who can I call for more information?

Answer: Call Lena Kim at 215-814-3117 or Ruth Podems at 215-814-5540.

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