Soil test reveals toxic substance near Clay County school | News

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Soil test reveals toxic substance near Clay County school

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- Dayna Yamin, a Middleburg mom, said she's concerned about the findings of the environmental group Earth Justice.

"It is just concerning that people don't know and their kids are playing in this stuff," said Yamin.

Her son is too young for elementary school, but Yamin said her concern is for every child in her Clay County community.

"Since children are walking on those paths, parents need to be notified," she said.

Yamin is reacting to a report from Earth Justice and Clean Water Action Florida, two environmental groups.

In March, the groups tested the soil near the paths around J.L. Wilkinson Elementary. Lisa Evans, attorney and former EPA employee, is with Earth Justice.

"We know that EZbase is sometimes not covered and it can contain toxic metals," said Evans, "We wanted to make sure that was not the situation around this school."

Evans said they sampled the soil near the school because of reports EZbase may have been used in the area.

EZbase is a by product of the coal-fired plants used in road construction.

"We took two samples both came up with vanadium at levels higher than safe residential safe levels," said Evans, "In one case, it was seven times."

Clay County School District spokesperson Darlene Mahla said they are not familiar with the testing results.

"Our operations manager says to his knowledge, nobody has supplied the school district with test results, lab studies, etc of any toxic materials on district grounds," she wrote.

Malha said to their knowledge, neither health department nor the county commission have been notified.

Clean Water Action Florida said emails were sent May 1 to both the superintendent and the school principal advising them of the soil test results.

Yamin would like to see more testing. She wants to be sure that her community, not just the school, is toxic free.

"More testing to see what's out here in Middleburg that is toxic and is around the general public," she said, "not just the children going to school."

The environmental groups have asked the EPA and the state DEP to conduct more testing, they're waiting on a response.


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