Residents near contaminated neighborhood want in on free testing systems

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by Craig Cheatham / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 7:21 PM

 (KMOV) – Residents are demanding answers the government promised them after they learned their county neighborhood was contaminated.

Some residents in the Elmwood Park neighborhood are still frustrated with the government’s response, especially people who live just a short distance from the contaminated area.. 

Larney Shannon said eight of her closest relatives lived in the Elmwood Park neighborhood and they all died of cancer.

But, like Shannon, some of her deceased relatives didn’t live within the boundaries of the area identified as the EPA’s target zone.

All of the homes and apartment buildings in the targeted area will receive free systems to remove any harmful vapors from the spill that may still be in basements.

Shannon lives just a hundred yards from the free vapor systems and health surveys available in the red zone, in a home that lost more than 80 percent of its value.

“I don’t understand what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. It doesn’t make sense,” said Shannon.

She’s getting nothing, and she wanted to know why.

The simple answer is that the targeted area had to cut off somewhere, and the EPA cut it off at the road near Shannon’s house.

“We don’t want to downplay or discard anyone’s concerns, we take them very seriously,” said Faisal Khan, with St. Louis County Health Department.

But no matter how much Shannon wants more attention brought to her street and the families on it, they won’t be part of this survey, or the immediate response to a very old problem.

Although Dr. Khan says the health department will do what it can to help her.

“If she has concerns, we’d love to talk with her. That’s not an issue. That’s never been an issue,” said Khan.

Dr. Khan insists that any resident living near the Elmwood Place neighborhood can schedule an appointment with the health department and take the same survey available to people living in the targeted area. It just won’t be counted in the study.

Click here to contact the St. Louis County Health Department.

 

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