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EPA adds Beck's Lake to National Priorities List

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- One South Bend neighborhood can breathe a little easier. The Environmental Protection Agency said Beck's Lake in LaSalle Park will soon be tested for hazardous materials. The site is on South Bend's northwest side and is one of nine in the country recenty added to the National Priorities List.

LaSalle Park is a community hot spot. People like Susan Sepulveda use it for cookouts and parties.

"My mom lives around here, it's real close to home," Sepulveda said. "This is the nearest park, so we come here."

So when she found out arsenic and other poisons could be below the ground, she was shocked because kids play there.

"The kids exercise, they come here with their parents," Sepulveda said. "Everybody goes up the hill, they have fun."

Fun, that may be interupted if the Environmental Protection Agency takes action.

For some neighbors though, it's a good thing.

"It's a win-win for us," Wendell Johnson, Vice-President of the LaSalle Park Neighborhood Association, said. "We have a body of water out here that could be an excellent asset for home and business development."

He said having Beck's Lake listed as a national priority is a blessing in disguise. For years, he's been petitioning the EPA to visit and take care of any potential dangers.

"We were kind of feeling 'it's never going to change,' but to hear this, it's great."

The listing will allow the EPA to address any soil contamination at the site, and on the property of nearby homeowners.

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