EPA discusses arsenic levels in South Bend park

 SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Questions over ground contamination near Beck's Lake in South Bend remain. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency suggested the area be a superfund site after finding higher than average levels of arsenic.

A quick look at Beck's Lake, and it's easy to see why neighbors say the area is polluted.

Tires stick out of the water feet from where children play, but it's what you can't see that could be dangerous.

"We found enough arsenic that we know it's not naturally occurring," Joan Tanaka, a regional planner with the Environmental Protection Agency, said.

Last month, environmental groups found high levels of cancer-causing toxins in the ground.

The EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are now suggesting it be a superfund site.

"We have a short period of time when people can submit comments, to talk about whether they support the listing or if they have any concerns," Jessica Fliss, a project manager with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said.

And there were a lot of concerns; many wondered why this information wasn't made public earlier.

High levels of arsenic exposure have been known to cause heart disease and nerve damage.

A spokesperson with the EPA said the measurements it took weren't an immediate danger to public health. Still -- they're counting on local agencies to help out if the area becomes a superfund site.

"Once we know where the contamination is, they help us understand what types of harms it may cause to a community, and what we most need to worry about, as we clean it up," Tanaka said.

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