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Loughborough Commons: Getting the Lead Out?

I’m more than a little confused how DESCO plans to deal with lead contamination at Loughborough Commons. Site contamination, you might recall from a prior post, was among reasons cited in a report on why it was in the public’s interest to blight the site and offer tax incentives for redevelopment.

Today’s Post-Dispatch indicates removal as the means of remediation (emphasis mine):

A Desco spokesman said the company would finish preparing the ground before signing any additional leases. Among the tasks is removing lead residue from a site formerly used to make paint, the spokesman said.

Last week the Suburban Journal had a piece on the contamination issue that also seemed to suggest removal (emphasis mine):

“There is lead underground,” said Lori Willis, a spokeswoman for Schnuck Markets, Inc. “When it is removed as part of Phase 2 of our project, the work will be done in accordance with state and federal laws and under the guidance of the (state) Department of Natural Resources.”“DESCO is experienced in handling this. They don’t anticipate any problems and they will follow all safety procedures relative to the lead removal process,” Willis said.

But in the same article it is suggested the solution is not removal, but containment (emphasis mine):

The remediation effort will primarily involve containing the material in place so that it poses no risk, Willis said.The lead isn’t harmful if it’s covered, Brian McCurren, an environmental engineer for the state Department of Natural Resources, said. It’s only harmful to construction workers who come into contact with it, he said.

From the looks of the site they are going with containment but it seems odd even the spokesperson keeps saying removal.


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