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Release Date: 08/07/1998
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - Beginning on Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin another round of sampling for Pittsfield property owners who are concerned their residential properties may be contaminated with PCBs.

Soil samples will be collected at 18 residential properties over the next few weeks. The sampling, to be done in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, will will take place at numerous homes in the city's Lakewood neighborhood as well as elsewhere in the city.

While EPA has not received conclusive documentation to determine whether PCB-contaminated fill was ever brought to these properties, interviews with the homeowners led EPA to determine that sampling at the properties was warranted.

EPA did an earlier round of sampling at 23 homes in the spring.

"Next week's sampling reflects EPA's commitment to move aggressively and decisively to find out where PCB problems exist in Pittsfield," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England Office. "If the cleanup of Pittsfield and the rest of Berkshire County is to be successful, we need to have a good handle on the scope of the PCB problem. That's why our sampling includes residential properties, Silver Lake, Unkamet Brook and major portions of the Housatonic River."

EPA staff met this week with the 18 property owners whose soils will be sampled. The purpose of the meetings was to explain how the sampling will be done. The sampling will require two visits to the property, first to collect surface samples and next to collect depth samples.