PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan for the Peck Iron and Metal site and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is asking the community to give its input.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Peck Iron and Metal facility was declared a superfund in 2009 after heavy metals and radioactive materials (including radium, lead, and arsenic) were found in the site’s soil and groundwater.

These materials were also detected in fish in nearby Paradise Creek.

Although the EPA has proposed a cleanup plan for the site, CBF is urging them to quickly finalize a strong cleanup plan that will prioritize the surrounding communities’ health.

Taylor Lilley, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Environmental Justice Staff Attorney released a statement that said:

“This cleanup plan is long overdue. For 60 years, toxic and radioactive contamination from Peck Iron and Metal has threatened the health of people in Portsmouth and polluted the environment. Now is the time to urge the EPA to quickly implement a strong cleanup plan that prioritizes the community’s health and includes public outreach to protect people living nearby.

“The EPA’s cleanup plan for Peck should meet all requirements for similar projects under Virginia law. Any waste left on site should have a liner below it, in addition to a cap above, to prevent dangerous pollution from continuing to seep into the groundwater and wetlands. The EPA must also complete a long-overdue health study of nearby residents to determine how this pollution contributes to cancer rates and other health problems.

“This is the chance for everyone to participate in the process of finally cleaning up this dangerous toxic site and prevent further harm.”

CBF is asking those in the community to submit a comment through the CBF link before September 23. comments can also be submitted through mail, email, or voicemail.