Meeting held to discuss contaminated soil at local park
COCONUT GROVE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Officials gathered with concerned residents Monday night after finding positive tests of arsenic and lead in the ground of a South Florida park back in August.
Residents who live in the Coconut Grove area wanted answers at the meeting, and wanted to know if Blanche Park was safe for their family. "What were our kids expose to when they were playing in that sand which had no barriers to the contaminated soil?" said a concern parent.
A private company, hired by the City of Miami, shut down both areas of the park Monday to continue to check for contamination. "I have a dog. I'm concerned for the dog, obviously," Andrew Matus said. "We're limiting his time in the dog park now."
The initial positive results were not found near the surface but from soil found six to 12 inches deep.
"What we do know is that there appears to be what is called remnant ash under there, which is solid waste," said City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. "It appears that the burned out stuff came from an incineration from somewhere. How much? We don't know."
City officials said the tainted sample is the only one from nearly 50 areas to return contaminated.
The soil test will determine if the ash is deep enough underground to prevent the children and dogs that play at the park from getting sick. A resident said, "They say everything is normal but I see pending on that screen. A lot says pending, so I can only go by what they are saying and wait till the results are complete."
Parents and pet owners will continue to keep their children and dogs from the park, worried about the potential danger in the soil. "I'm a little tentative. We go there everyday," Campbell Minister said. "We take our dog and our baby."
Blanch park remains open. Officials said they are confident it is safe for the public.
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