In 2018, an Emory University doctoral student shared data with the EPA showing elevated lead levels collected from soil samples in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods. Research by the EPA led to the discovery of industrial smelting waste, called “slag,” on two lots near Elm Street.
EPA has initiated an investigation into the contamination. Currently, EPA has sampled just over 120 properties in the English Avenue neighborhood, with approximately half of the properties showing lead concentrations above EPA’s health-based risk values. This soil poses a health risk to residents, and EPA is initiating a removal action to reduce the threat.