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City will foot the bill for toxic sludge removal in Fort Myers

Process removing Toxic sludge from Dunbar underway
Removal of toxic dirt underway in Ft. Myers
Posted at 10:28 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 06:58:09-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Trucks will be back in the Dunbar section of Ft. Myers Tuesday to remove more the of toxic sludge from the community. The material, by product from a wastewater treatment plant was dumped there in the 1960’s.

“The city inherited that problem, as far as whether they are expedient in resolving it? I won't challenge that because I don't know all the facts,” said Gerri Ware.

Ware and her family grew up near where this toxic sludge was found, but she wasn’t sickened by any of it.

The sludge should be gone by the beginning of 2019, bound for Alabama where it will be turned into concrete, but the fallout from the saga isn't going away anytime soon.

Ft. Myers Councilman Johnny Streets estimates the price tag for removing the sludge to be near $5 million, and the city would have to pick up the tab. “That's not the end of the whole thing, there are some other things that have to be taken care of,” said Streets. "There is some other litigation our attorneys are working. I'm just going to use the term 'pain and suffering.'"

Streets says it's up to the city to make sure this entire neighborhood is safe to live in once again, but the question remains is Ft. Myers sending its sludge problem to another community.

"I can't say I'm confident it won't but if it was gonna be a problem I don't think they would have accepted it,” said Streets.

The Florida Department Environmental Protection is overseeing the sludge removal process.