EPA Insists Contaminated Land Has Been Removed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fearing a new playground and dog park were built on contaminated land, some Wayne, N.J., residents say they plan to keep their children and pooches away.

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The former home of the W.R. Grace industrial site was once a toxic dump with radioactive soil. The property even made a national list for the most polluted places.

But after years of cleanup, the Environmental Protection Agency says the land is now safe.

Nearby residents, however, said they are skeptical.

“What’s under there? … Is it sludge?” Steven Higuera, who lives a mile away from the site, told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu on Wednesday.

“I would not bring my grandchildren there,” added Terry Zack, who works across the street from the playground and dog run, set to open in the next few weeks. ” I would not bring my pets there. … I wouldn’t take a chance.”

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Mary Mears of the EPA insisted the parkland is not toxic.

“The contaminated soil at Wayne Interim Storage was removed from this site,” she said in a statement. “The site now meets the cleanup standard for building residences on the land.”

Not everyone, however, is concerned. Loretta Maloney witnessed the cleanup and said she will take her dog, Perna, there.

“They came with the suits, the space suits, so it was quite a sight to see,” Maloney said. “I personally don’t” have any concerns.

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