Blanche Park cleared of toxic soil concerns

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter
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MIAMI - A state health department review appears to clear at least one Miami park of concerns about toxic soil plaguing several former dump sites.

In a report obtained by Local 10 Thursday, the state concludes Blanche Park in Coconut Grove poses no health risk to the public.

While soil samples taken from depths to 15 feet below the perimeter of the park's playground and dog park reveal signs of toxic metals like copper, arsenic, barium, iron and cadmium, health officials concluded the amounts were below residential health standards and not likely to cause illness.  

Samples taken from the center of the playground where decades-old solid waste was buried are now underneath a foot of sand and soil then covered with artificial turf.  Health officials conclude the public is safe from risk of contact.

Groundwater samples from two wells showed some contamination below the park.  State health officials conclude the public supply is not affected.

Miami city officials have scheduled a community meeting at 6 p.m. on December?10th to present the review and field residents' concerns with health and environmental representatives.

Soil testing is ongoing at all Miami-Dade parks in a response to concerns that festering health hazards at former dumping grounds and incinerator sites.  Results from Blanche Park, Douglas Park and Merrie Christmas Park showed signs of toxic soil.

Of the three, Blanche Park is the only one that remains open and has been state certified as safe.


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