The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered high levels of arsenic on a property in Ohio County.
Signs have been posted and a gate put up to keep people away from the site on Shinkle Chapel Road. Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston says a former property owner initiated the probe.
"The lady who lived there became sick and her animals became sick. She was a dog breed," Johnston tells WKU Public Radio. "She started asking questions and reported it to the federal EPA."
While he only learned of the contamination two months ago, Johnston says the poison had been on the site since the 1940s.
"Someone brought in several drums of arsenic. We don't know what the purpose of it was, but it was stored in a barn, which burned down seven years ago or so," Johnston adds. "It wasn't a threat until then, but it got into a large area and killed all the trees on a few acres of land."
Soil samples revealed extremely high concentrations of the toxic element. The poison hasn’t contaminated any water supplies. The federal EPA will be overseeing the cleanup.