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January 25, 2018

Superfund on the Southside

Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga Realtors

The Southside in downtown Chattanooga has gone from up-and-coming to one of the most desired places to live in our area within just a few, short years. However, there is still work to be done to ensure a safe, clean environment for our community. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Southside Chattanooga Lead Site to the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL).

Let’s start with the basics: What is the Superfund? Superfund investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites, converting them into community resources. The EPA then adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and environment. In addition, only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup.

The Southside Chattanooga Lead Site includes residential properties and other areas used by children that have been impacted by lead-contaminated soil where foundry waste material was used in past decades as fill or top soil. The sites in our area include: Alton Park, Cowart Place, Jefferson Heights, Richmond, and the Southside Gardens neighborhoods. Thanks to these properties being added to the NPL, the state and community will receive significant technical and financial resources needed to address current environmental concerns. The EPA will be working to clean the site and replace it with clean soil which will give residents peace of mind and allow the area to continue thriving.

Throughout the process of proposing the Southside Chattanooga Lead Site to the EPA, state and local officials have worked closely to test soil, identify health risks, and communicate with residents. Community partnerships are vital to Superfund site cleanups and the EPA will continue working closely with state and Hamilton County partners to ensure a collaborative and transparent cleanup process so that the Southside can continue to thrive and be enjoyed by residents.

As your Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga, Greater Chattanooga Realtors makes a conscious effort to stay informed of issues impacting housing and quality of life in our community. Greater Chattanooga Realtors will participate in the brief information session scheduled for Friday, February 2 at 9 a.m. at TDEC Chattanooga. We to encourage members of our beautiful community to do the same.

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