The City of Chillicothe continues to work with the EPA and the State to test ground at the old prison property. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with City Administrator Ike Holland:

Ike Holland

Fuel tanks are buried on the grounds. “A lot of times fuel tanks leak out lead and different types of poisonous materials such as arsenic and other things,” said Holland, “They’re also looking at the water table under the ground. How much water flows in that area, and what direction does it go in, and how high is it to the surface?”

The City plans to eventually convert the historic building into residential apartments.

“If there’s residential housing in that area, and that’s what we’re projecting, that it [the hazardous materials] would not come to the top. And children could, they’re very vulnerable at a young age to getting dirt and such in their mouths. And you could get lead poisoning and cancerous type of diseases.”

Holland says the tests could be completed in December, but have the potential to last another year. The funding primarily comes from the Environmental Protection Agency, but Chillicothe will have to contribute about $1,000 before the process is complete.