The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently used a mobile lab to evaluate Austin soil samples.
Area residents were able to submit soil from lawns or gardens to be screened for heavy metals as part of a jointly provided service with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the city government during the Fusebox Festival.
Residents submitted 79 soil samples for evaluation.
The lab is an extension of the EPA Environmental Sciences branch based in Austin, which provides technical expertise to other EPA staff, as well as local, city and tribal governments in the area. In addition to analyzing soil samples, the lab can be used to analyze air contaminants, drinking water, non-potable water, and solid and chemical materials.
Following the Fusebox Festival, the city provided two additional days of soil analysis services as part of an EPA Brownfields Program grant. The grants help communities restore blighted or contaminated properties.