The delayed cleanup of lead-contaminated soil beneath parts of Factory Street in Kalihi is set to begin the week of Jan. 20, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Starting Jan. 20, work is scheduled from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday along the stretch of Factory Street between King and Waterhouse streets. During that time, parts of the street will be closed to parking.
The EPA plans to dispose of the soil and other debris from the site at licensed facilities on the U.S. mainland. Proper dust control measures will also be put in place during the removal.
In April of last year, the state Health Department requested that the EPA address high levels of lead in soil under Factory Street.
The street itself — in a dense, industrial neighborhood within a half-mile from schools and parks — is in poor condition and full of potholes since no one is responsible for maintaining it, according to an EPA fact sheet. If it continues to degrade, then people may potentially become more exposed to dangerous levels of lead.
Since the street has no designated owner, the EPA asked the federal court for an administrative warrant to access the property.
During the project, crews will backfill any removed soil with clean fill, according to the EPA, and repave parts of the street impacted.
Anyone who wants to take extra precautions can close windows facing Factory Street during work hours, remove their shoes before entering their homes, wash their hands often, and stay away from the work area during the project as much as possible.
Upon investigation, the EPA concluded that the presence of the lead is likely from historical commercial activities in the area, including lead ash dumped by a fishing supply company.
The removal of the lead should take three to four weeks to complete.
Updates will be available online at response.epa.gov/FactoryStreet and via a hotline at 888–232–9312.