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      EPA to clean lead, arsenic from Columbia area

      Federal environmental officials will clean up toxic metals found in soil of a Columbia neighborhood.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Federal environmental officials will clean up toxic metals found in soil of a Columbia neighborhood.

      The State newspaper reports residents of the neighborhood near downtown Columbia learned at a meeting last week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is going to clean up their yards.

      Plans call for contractors to dig up and replace soil from about a dozen yards.

      Earlier this year, state environmental officials called the EPA after identifying elevated lead and arsenic levels in the soil of several yards in a neighborhood near downtown. Officials say a fertilizer plant that closed in the late 1930s is likely the source of the pollution.

      Officials say cleanup work may not begin until the end of the year and could cost as much as $600,000.

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