Posted: Nov 14, 2012 4:32 PM by Mia Gordon - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 14, 2012 6:48 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Over 8,000 tires. That's what the county found and removed from Hazel Bazemore Park after they were ordered to by TCEQ. But this clean up project is far from over.
County Commissioner Mike Pusley says, "when we originally came out here we thought there were just a few tires on top of the ground. And as we went back into the ravine, as far as you could walk into that ravine, it was just one giant pile of tires after the next."
After four years, this March the tire cleanup was complete. More then 8,000 tires, and over $600,000 spent.
But Pusley says work isn't done yet. The next step is to install wells in the area to monitor water levels to make sure it wasn't contaminated by the tires.
In the next two to three months the county will sink monitoring wells in the area. The water quality will then be tested on a regular basis. A project costing another $140,000.
The county is keeping their fingers crossed that those tests will come back clean, but what if the water is contaminated?
Pusley says, "The county just doesn't have the money to do an extensive cleanup if we do find that there has been contamination."
And if that happens the county will have to ask the state and federal government to step in and help fund the cleanup project.
The idea that the water may be contaminated has more then just Pusley concerned. Hazel Bazemore Park is popular for fishing, recreating, and bird watching.
Susan Stalnaker and her husband like to take walks in the park and she says, "It is a little bit of a concern because beside natural habitat, kids play in the water and they could get sick."
Pusley promises that they are doing what they can to make sure that doesn't happen, "At the end of the day we are going to provide a safe environment for the people here in Nueces County and a safe park where they can bring their families.
He plans to put a fence around the ravine to prevent any future illegal dumping.
Pusley hopes to have the project completed in the next two years and is then hoping TCEQ will give them a clean bill of health.
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