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LaSalle Park deemed safe for play, EPA soil study to continue to surrounding homes

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—The EPA says preliminary results from the soil sample study show LaSalle Park is safe for recreational use.

Becks Lake at LaSalle Park was added to the EPA's national priorities list in 2013. The site was previously used as a landfill, and it’s believed asbestos, paint wastes, solvents and oils, and arsenic-contaminated foundry sand may have been disposed of there.

The study, completed by the city and Honeywell, shows the levels of contamination are not considered dangerous.

Still, the EPA is going to expand the study to the surrounding homes to make sure it’s safe for those who live near the site.

“We’re doing the sampling in the residential area to make sure that residents are safe. We want a high level of certainty,” says EPA Project Manager Jenny Davison.

Many residents at Wednesday’s meeting said they want to rule out the risk too.

“I’m concerned about people who live in that area and are trying to develop it further,” says Claudia Welch.

The EPA will test homes between Falcon and Kenmore, Lindon and Washington and the southern portion of the park along Western Street.

“I’m feeling better that other people are interested in the neighborhood and the health and welfare of the people that still live in this area,” says Welch.

The EPA says the people who live in the area should expect to get an access agreement in the mail this week. They hope to have those signed agreements back by the end of the month so they can start scheduling the sampling investigations in early October.

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