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      EPA to make decision on pollution removal in Edisto Court community

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contractors have finished their soil sampling work in a Columbia neighborhood that was once home to a fertilizer plant.

      COLUMBIA, SC (WACH / AP) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contractors have finished their soil sampling work in a Columbia neighborhood that was once home to a fertilizer plant. A decision on whether to clean up the contamination in the Edisto Court community at taxpayer expense may take several months.

      The EPA says unsafe levels of toxic metals have been detected in a dozen yards in the area formerly home to the fertilizer plant.

      Last week the City of Columbia and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control partnered to offer free blood and urine screenings to residents to check for elevated levels of lead and arsenic. Those results are not yet in.

      The EPA found unsafe levels in a dozen of 45 yards it tested.

      DHEC says a fertilizer plant that closed in the late 1930s is the likely pollution source.

      (The AP contributed to this story.)