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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2012

UPDATE: DHEC Reports on Data from the Congaree River, 
Completes Initial Round of Sample Collection in Rosewood Neighborhood

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Based on a review of hydrogeologic information from the SEACO plant site, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has determined that contamination in the groundwater at the site will not impact the Congaree River. Also, a DHEC review of current monitoring data from the Congaree River shows there are no detectable levels of lead. However, samples will be taken at additional sites on the Congaree River and Gills Creek to affirm that lead and arsenic are not a problem in those waterways.

Residents in this area are on the City of Columbia water system, not ground water wells. Thus, residents are not at risk from arsenic or lead, at the SEACO site or surrounding area, through their residential water supply.

Beginning this morning, DHEC sent several teams of investigators to the neighborhood closest to the SEACO plant (Rosewood) to take soil samples from residents’ yards. Samples were taken only from homes where the owner was present to provide permission. Samples were taken from: 41 houses (52 total samples), 6 businesses (18 total samples), 2 parks (8 total samples), and 7 other samples from public rights of way. Those samples were screened on the scene for potential contamination.

The results of this investigation will be provided upon final completion, and DHEC will advise residents as to any further action needed to ensure their safety.

All data gathered from this investigation will be further analyzed in conjunction with the EPA.

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For additional and updated information: http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Pollution/CleanUpPrograms/OngoingProjectsUpdates/SeacoSite/