DALLAS -- Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used a mobile lab facility to screen soil samples from Austin residences recently. Participants were able to bring soil from their garden or yard and have it assessed for heavy metals.
Scientists from EPA’s lab facility in Houston worked with representatives from Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service and the city of Austin to provide the service. The mobile lab accepted 79 soil samples for analysis during the day-long event, as part of Austin’s Fusebox Festival. The city of Austin continued the screening for two more days with help from a technical grant from EPA’s Brownfields program, which helps communities restore blighted or contaminated properties to more productive use.
EPA’s Environmental Services Branch laboratory in Houston provides technical expertise to other EPA staff, as well as local, state, tribal, and federal governments. The lab is accredited to analyze contaminants in air, drinking water, non-potable water, and solid and chemical materials as part of EPA’s network of Regional Science and Technology Organizations. These groups are vital to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment by practicing sound science and promoting partnerships with states, tribal nations, and local governments.
More about EPA lab facilities: http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/regional-science-and-technology-lab-core-capabilities
More about the Brownfields program in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6/6sf/brownfields/