Lead Troubles at the St. Marks Lighthouse

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Birgit Fisher says she enjoys bringing her four children to the Saint Marks Lighthouse for a fun history lesson.

"A lighthouse is always special. You see it from afar, and it is a special building. It is also an old building," says Fisher.

Terry Peacock with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the dirt surrounding the old lighthouse is saturated with lead and must be removed before ownership of the lighthouse is transferred to the wildlife service from the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The Coast Guard will have to receive funding in order to clean up the contaminates that are down there. Once they receive the funding, they will have to go in and determine how deep and how far the contaminates extend from the lighthouse," says Peacock.

"From what I understand, it is not a contaminate unless you eat it. It is not leaking into the water supply or anything. It is just in the soil, and there is caution there," explains David Moody, also with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He says the estimated cost of the soil removal is unclear at this time. He says the process could become costly if archeological items are discovered.