Central City residents raise concerns of high lead levels

Concerns over high lead levels in Central City

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New parents Benjamin Dominach and Nadiyah Taylor purchased their Central City home at Seventh and Saratoga last year to prepare for their growing family.

"The whole purpose of moving here is to make sure he grows up happy and healthy," said Taylor.

The excitement of a newborn and home changed to concern after attending their first neighborhood meeting in May.

“We found out that there was hazardous materials right across the street from our home,” Dominach said.

That material was lead. A city incinerator used to sit on the land across from their home.

A neighborhood liaison for the City of New Orleans emailed nearby residents saying that testing on the land found, “the highest lead concentration on site is 1,700 parts per million.”

According to the CDC, the standard level for lead in soil in non-play areas is 1,200 parts per million.

Documents from the state Department of Environmental Quality show the city started preparing for clean up at the abandoned site in 2002.

LDEQ records also show the city has known about the high lead levels for at least a decade.

"That's the main grievance that we have, at least just warn the residents,” said Dominach. “If you have this knowledge, warn the residents. Don't keep it up to yourself, let the residents know."

The couple alerted FOX 8 to the issue after watching our report on hazardous materials found in Gert Town.

"We saw that story and we immediately thought about our own story,” Dominach said.

A LDEQ spokesperson says the department has approved an action plan by the city to remove the material. The city also told residents the chemicals would not get into the groundwater or onto other properties.

Taylor says she’s spoken with her neighbors and they feel like they’re in a standstill.

“Now we’re stuck with this house that is across frpom toxic waste,” Taylor said.

The city says the site is part of the Broadmoor Hazard Mitigation Program project. The plan is to build green infrastructure project. The remediation of the site will proceed after FEMA gives final approval.

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