Stan Shultz, an engineer for Veterans Worldwide, rides through Iola in his Ford F-250 surveying the many yards soon to bear a sign with the company?s logo attached to it. Veterans Worldwide has been contracted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up residential properties that have tested high for lead or zinc.
Contamination runs deep. It?s hard to believe just a foot under some of the nicest yards in Iola the soil could look like charcoal, Shultz said.
In the early 1900s, Iola was a hotbed for zinc and lead smelting plants. Though the plants have long been demolished, soil contamination remains.