CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Higher than usual levels of arsenic found in groundwater at a Chatham County landfill prompted an investigation.
The county published a public notice a few weeks ago saying arsenic has been found near the facility boundary.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in the soil here in Georgia and perhaps the only way it's detected in areas like landfills is because there are so many monitoring measures to find releases of harmful substances into the environment.
The public notice in the paper said the arsenic level detected in groundwater is statistically significant above background concentrations and above the Georgia Environmental Protection Division's approved groundwater protection standards.
So what does all that mean?
According to the chief over the land protection branch of the EPD, there's no reason for concern right now for anyone living in close proximity to the landfill.
All agencies involved in finding the source of the elevated levels of arsenic are still in the assessment phase.
"Every part of the state has a different level of arsenic in it, from background, the past," said Jeff Cown, the Chief over the Land Protection branch at the EPD. "It could either be sediments that contain arsenic, it could be from farming, it could be from a lot of things. But this, we've got some of the background...but we're not sure. We believe it's from the soils."
If it's determined the arsenic, which has only been detected on landfill property at this point, is coming from the landfill then the County will find corrective measures and hold a public hearing to go over those actions.
If you have any questions about this case, or others like it, contact the EPD.