City discusses remediation work for LaSalle Park
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - In light of contamination concerns, the City of South Bend holds a public information session Tuesday night to talk about remediation work for Lasalle Park and Beck’s Lake.
People gathered at the Charles Black Community Center, as the city discussed the contractor and timeline for this clean up project.
After extensive and costly sampling, the Environmental Protection Agency, the city and Honeywell, entered into an agreement to remediate the site.
While soil samples identified subsurface lead, city officials said contamination in the soil does not pose an immediate threat to the public.
“We’re happy that the conversation is being re-opened. It’s coming back with some facts and some figures for the neighbors and the neighborhood,” said South Bend Common Council Member Henry Davis Jr.
“It’s a culmination of many years of discussions and investigations into Lasalle Park,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller.
“You’re talking about over 100 years or close to 100 years of contamination. People living in an environment that is toxic, that has really ate away at their immune systems. You’re talking about cancer. You’re talking about auto-immune diseases,” said Davis.
HRP Construction will begin the work in July and should finish by Oct.
It will cost a little over $2,000,000.
Meantime, health officials plan to evaluate nearby residents’ exposures and will conduct health consultations.
“So we will be looking at any data collected at this site, both at the park and the nearby residents. We have a standard process to evaluate the data and to look at people’s current and historic exposures,” said one health official.
Residents, who were fired up during the meeting, expressed concerns about other areas in the city too.
“I didn’t see none of you guys raise your hands when I said ‘who is going to be responsible? Who is going to look into this?’ Not one of you guys raised your hands...Why is that? Why can’t somebody address the situation and do something now,” said one resident.
After the project at LaSalle Park is completed, city officials will talk about future plans for the park, like getting new basketball courts and trails.
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