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State Conducting Study on Arsenic Found on Monrovia Nursery Site

Surveys were sent to residents living near the future home development.

A state-run study to determine how to remedy levels of arsenic found in the soils of where 124 homes are slated to be built on the former Monrovia Nursery site is currently underway, according to Glendora city officials.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control sent surveys to Glendora residents living near the 95-acre piece of land in northwest Glendora.

According to City Manager Chris Jeffers, the survey is part of public input in the state-run process, which would help determine the best remediation plan to remove arsenic discovered while the city developed the Specific Plan for the Monrovia Nursery development in 2007.

Jeffers called the toxic levels “just slightly above” what the state allows for residential development.

“The level that was detected, from my memory, barely exceeded the level allowed, but once you exceed, you exceed,” said Jeffers. “You have to go trough the process of getting clearance.”

Before the city can issue the developer City Ventures, LLC, a grading permit, or before any work can be done on the site, DTSC must approve the developer’s plan of removing arsenic from the site.

Jeffers said City Ventures intends to move the contaminated soil from residential areas to an area near the train tracks, close to a designated park. However, DTSC has yet to approve any remediation plan by City Ventures.

Once City Ventures receives clearance from DTSC, they must implement the plan and send periodic updates on the plan’s progress. The site must then also be retested to ensure the arsenic levels are below the state’s limit.

Yet, Monrovia Nursery neighbors still remain concerned over current efforts to eliminate the existing toxic waste levels.

 “[We want the city to] report to us on what steps were actually taken to date to ensure that the soil and water in the area of the property of the former Monrovia Nursery in Glendora is clean and won’t make us sick,” said Doug Boyd, chairman of S.O.S. Glendora, a watchdog group consisting of Monrovia Nursery neighbors.

Jeffers said the city has turned the study over to DTSC, and any questions or comments must be sent to them.

Jeffers added he feels confident the site’s toxic levels and all health safety risks will be remedied.

“We can’t have a better or more involved response than having the DTSC manage it,” said Jeffers “That is their task under state law, to manage those type of situations. They have the expertise and I think they should be trusted to do what they need to do to make sure that problem is appropriately addressed.”

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