• Community concerned after elevated lead levels found in area

    By: Tina Terry


    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Lead-contaminated soil in one Cabarrus County community has neighbors concerned.

    The EPA is cleaning up the soil after they discovered thousands of buried battery casings right in the middle of Villa Mobile Home Park in Kannapolis.

    "I'm concerned, I'm very concerned," said Curtis Bower.

    Weeks ago, many neighbors learned the soil by their homes is contaminated with lead -- 10 times more lead than the EPA says is safe.

    In 2010 the EPA found the area inside Villa Mobile Home Park on Venice Street in Kannapolis was full of old battery casings. The land owner tried to fix the problem, but it didn't work. The EPA stepped in last month to remove the contamination. They said they also tested the surface soil around more than 50 mobile homes.

    "There are no levels of concern throughout the surface soil so those areas are fine," said Alyssa Hughes, on-scene coordinator of the EPA Region 4.

    Neighbors in the surrounding area are concerned the lead may impact their water.

    They're also concerned for dozens of children who've made this the area their playground for years, especially those who have moved away.

    Hughes said she's unaware of any neighbors with well water, but she said EPA would be willing to test the water.

    She also said that EPA has teamed up with Cabarrus County Health Department to offer free blood testing to children who live in the area. Anyone interested should call 704-920-1000.

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