Air testing indicates no lead dust contamination following Bloomington controlled burn, city says

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Air testing results indicated that there was no detectable lead dust contamination surrounding the site of a controlled burn on S. High Street on Nov. 5.

According to the City of Bloomington, the testing was conducted by Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. (EACI) and VET Environmental Engineering, LLC (VET) and was drawn from continuous air samples taken while workers completed cleanup. Surface wipe sampling was also done as part of the test, the city said, and returned non-detectable lead levels.

Soil samples and other material collected from affected areas are still undergoing testing with results expected by the end of the week.

The testing was authorized after a controlled burn in the 1200 block of S. High Street ended up triggering an alert about possible lead-contaminated ash and debris being spread by the fire.

The Bloomington Fire Department said the possible contamination came to their attention when a concerned citizen approached firefighters after the live burn training exercise had concluded and told firefighters a tested piece of debris identified the presence of lead.

Residents previously expressed their concerns and frustrations over the decision to conduct the controlled burn so near to a residential area despite the city stating they’d taken the necessary steps for approval.

Cleanup and remediation continue in areas affected by debris from the controlled burn.

Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore said he will offer a presentation to the City’s Board of Public Safety Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. to summarize the actions the Bloomington Fire Department has taken to address the impacts of the controlled burn training exercise, testing results and expert recommendations. 

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