Councilman discusses arsenic levels found outside Dunbar sludge site
Dunbar residents upset over a lack of disclosure about arsenic in and around a former dump site are heard from their City Council representative.
The dump site was the primary topic of discussion when Councilman Johnny Streets addressed the public in a meeting on problems plaguing the city that began at 2 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.
A series of tests have shown elevated levels of arsenic in wells both on and off the site close to homes, where the city used to dispose of sludge from a water treatment plant.
Streets told residents his main priority was the public’s health. He suggested those living near the sludge site, who fear for their safety, should get medical testing done.
“We don’t have time to waste,” Streets said. “All I can say is I’m going to be upfront and candid.”
Residents like Paige Scusche want to know exactly when clean up will begin in the area, a question she says has not been answered.
“They’re not willing to at this point start talking about what is the way to remediate the site,” Scusche said.
Arsenic was initially discovered in 2007, but those results weren’t made public until this year. The city has received harsh criticism from the Department of Environmental Protection and Sen. Bill Nelson over its hesitance to release preliminary results from tests conducted this fall.
City Manager Saeed Kazemi said he didn’t want to disclose the results until they were certified and had been reviewed by a consultant.
DUNBAR TOXIC SLUDGE SITE TIMELINE
August 2 – Residents voice concerns at public forum
August 23 – Crews replace well at Dunbar sludge site
November 16 – NAACP calls lack of action ‘environmental racism’
December 5 – Residents: Dunbar sludge results difficult to read