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Fort Myers Councilman speaks out on toxic sludge site, surrounding area

Posted at 7:51 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 23:35:52-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A Fort Myers City Councilman addressed residents, Thursday, about new test results showing high arsenic levels in their neighborhood wells. 

Ward 2 Councilman Johnny Streets held a press conference Thursday afternoon at City Hall. Residents were most interested in discussing the South Street Dump site, a lot the City of Fort Myers once used to dispose of sludge, which we now know contained toxic contaminants, including arsenic. 

Test results released Monday showed contamination went beyond the fenced off site. Higher than accepted levels of arsenic were also found in area wells. Residents at the meeting said they are now frightened and are even considering moving. "When I found out, I wanted to move," said Katherine Wilson, who live across from the site. "I don't want my grand daughter sick."

The City of Fort Myers released this statement to 4 In Your Corner about Monday's results:

"Please note that the test results posted yesterday (12/18/17) are partial results. The City will await commenting until the experts have provided a complete report. The City will continue to be transparent and to provide updates as certified results are received."

Residents like Wilson, however, want to see cleanup effort begin immediately. 

Councilmen Streets told residents his main concern is public health, and getting the site cleaned up. 4 In Your Corner asked if cleanup needs to begin now rather than later, despite testing being incomplete. "We need to be doing both if it's necessary. If something comes up and says this can't wait, then lets do it. But we need to keep testing. We need to get this cleaned up," he said. 

Councilmen Streets encouraged those who live near the site and feel ill to get medically tested. He also encouraged those who use well water to cease using it.