Residents voice concerns, get latest on Dunbar sludge site

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The area bounded in red shows the site in Dunbar where sludge from a water treatment plant was disposed of.

FORT MYERS, Fla. A long-awaited public forum about a former toxic dump site in Dunbar took place Tuesday.

Residents had the opportunity to voice their concerns and get answers about environmental testing on the site at Tuesday’s informational workshop. The event took place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Center at 2990 Edison Ave.

The Department of Environmental Protection stated they were ready to thoroughly test the sludge. The department also plans to test the wells on site to make sure there are no drinking water contaminants.

“It’s a step-by-step process so the first phase is to characterize the material and then evaluate the impact and kind of step it out from there,” environmental department manager Scott McManus said.

Arsenic was discovered in 2007 on the grounds bounded by Henderson Avenue on the west, Midway Avenue on the east, Jeffcott Street on the south and South Street on the north.

The last tests showed no remaining hazardous levels of arsenic or any existing threat to groundwater, according to the DEP. But it was only this year that the public became aware of the 2007 test, sparking a renewed interest in examining the area.

“Obviously, it’s a very important issue to the city of Fort Myers, so that’s what we intend to do,” McManus said.

The latest assessment on the soil, ground water and surface water at the site could take weeks to complete. In the meantime, the city has set up a website where residents can view the work plan and submit questions and comments about it.

Residents can also call 239-321-7630 or send inquiries to the following address:

City of Fort Myers, c/o Richard Thompson
P.O. Box 2217
Fort Myers, FL 33902

WINK News reporter Britni McDonald provided more details about the workshop:

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