Efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove contaminated soil are nearing completion at the site of a former coal gas manufacturing plant in Lexington.  Spokesperson for EPA Region Seven Chris Whitley said risk assessors are attempting to determine if contaminants are being released into the environment.  Click to hear Whitley:

Chris Whitley

“We are monitoring the air around the site for multiple hazardous compounds including arsenic, lead, and benzene.  We anticipate that [the removal process] will be wrapped up by later this fall.  It’s a fairly simple and straight-forward process, but we want to make sure it is done thoroughly,” Whitley said.

Several polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAH) were detected during a site evaluation in 2009.  Gas plant-related contaminants were also found at elevated levels in the soil.   The now vacant site, which is now owned by Kansas City Power and Light, is located at the intersection of 10th Street and Highland Avenue in Lexington.  The coal gas manufacturing plant operated from about 1887 to 1924.