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Department of Health calls for removal of tainted soil in Hilo

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HILO >> The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a final cleanup action report for two vacant lots in Hilo contaminated with arsenic.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says the report recommends removing the contaminated soil in commercial lots near Waiakea Villas and hauling it to the West Hawaii landfill. The report says cleanup would cost about $312,825.

The soil is contaminated with arsenic from a former plant that used sugarcane bagasse to create canec, a wall- and ceiling-board panel used extensively in Hawaii until the 1970s.

A prospective purchaser was required to pay for the study, while the Department of Health provides oversight.

Department of Health Remediation Project Manager John Peard says the purchaser is interested in a commercial development.

Peard says this is the fourth such study done on the property in the past 15 years.

The properties are owned by the David De Luz Sr. Trust.

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