Irma delays testing on Dunbar toxic sludge site

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The Dunbar community is still waiting for answers about a former toxic dump site in the neighborhood.

Preliminary testing took place in August on the area where Arsenic was discovered 10 years ago.

But that work, done with a ground-penetrating radar, won’t produce evidence on what toxins may still be in the soil there. It’ll only give insight on the depth of the soil and any objects in it.

More conclusive testing was to begin last month, but Hurricane Irma forced it to be postponed. The city’s contracted geologists, GFA International Inc, plan to have a start date for testing by the end of this week.

MORE: Residents voice concerns, get latest on Dunbar sludge site

“Just when they were ready to get back on track, Hurricane Irma came through, which not only saturated the site but knocked down a bunch of trees (and) left the fence in need of repair,” city spokeswoman Kirsten O’Donnell said.

Dunbar resident Rickey Rogers is anxious for results that could tell him what might be in his well water.

“I’d like to see progress, some kind of progress,” he said. “Let us know what’s really going on and then we can go from there.”

MORE: Can Dunbar residents sue Fort Myers over former toxic dump?

Rogers is concerned that the longer the site sits untested, the more runoff from storms will end up in his yard.

City council member Johnny Streets, whose constituency includes the site, has consistently refused comment.


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