Press Release: “Air Testing Results Indicate No Lead Dust Contamination in Controlled Burn Vicinity”

The following press release was sent to The Bloomingtonian Monday:


November 15, 2021

For more information, please contact:

Jason Moore, Bloomington Fire Chief, [email protected] or (812) 332-9763.

Air Testing Results Indicate No Lead Dust Contamination in Controlled Burn Vicinity

Bloomington, Ind. – Air testing conducted by Environmental Assurance Company, Inc. (EACI) and  VET Environmental Engineering, LLC (VET) at the City’s direction indicates that there is no detectable lead dust contamination in the air surrounding the site of the controlled burn conducted at 1213 South High Street on November 5.  The air testing completed by EACI, required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), takes a continuous air sample from a device attached to the workers completing cleanup activities throughout their entire shift.  Surface wipe sampling conducted prior to the rain on Thursday, November 11 throughout the same area also returned non-detectable lead levels.  Testing was conducted throughout the area determined by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the City to have been impacted by the burn, as represented by this map at the website and included below.  Testing results of soil samples and other materials collected last week in the affected areas are expected to be available by week’s end to provide more information about lead levels.  

EACI and VET crews continue to perform remediation of properties in the affected areas this week. The contractor teams are focusing on removing any remaining debris from surfaces that people–and pets–most frequently come in contact with, including sidewalks, driveways, hand railings, mailboxes, playsets, patios, and decks.  Crews are also performing general yard cleanup, with an emphasis on food-producing gardens and play areas.  After last week’s first phase of remediation, crews are performing a second round this week to capture any debris that winds and precipitation over the weekend may have displaced.  Remediation is anticipated to be complete by the end of the week.  There is no charge for this service and permission to operate on each property is requested of the resident. 

The environmental remediation consultants advise that residents may rake leaves to the edge of their property for vacuum collection by the City.  Leaves vacuumed from within and adjacent to the affected area will undergo testing to determine the appropriate disposal site, not composted as is usual procedure.   Households in the affected areas participating in the 1,000 Households Who Mulch initiative (whose homes are designated with a “Proud Pilot Participant” sign) may rake leaves to the curb for collection as well.   Consultants advise that residents may dispose of bagged debris and used cleaning materials in their household trash bins.

“We have consulted with public health officials and based on the current data and work completed, the homeowners should be able to proceed with fall lawn care as they normally would,” said Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill.  “Wearing gloves, washing up when the work is done and perhaps wearing a mask should allow the work to be done with little, if any risk.”

Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore will offer a presentation to the City’s Board of Public Safety Tuesday, November 16 at 6 p.m. summarizing actions the Bloomington Fire Department has taken to address the impacts of the controlled burn training exercise, testing results, and expert recommendations.  The public meeting will be held via Zoom video conferencing at the following address:

Meeting ID: 856 3827 1722

Passcode: 926235

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For more information, please see or contact Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore at 812-332-9763.


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