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It would be very nice to have an "all-clear" letter from the EPA but don't hold your breath waiting for one and don't blame your current council if they can't obtain one. The park was cleaned up THREE times by a certified asbestos cleanup firm. Each time they certified that there was no more asbestos in the park ... but some remained and kept rising to the surface requiring yet another cleanup. (Anyone who believes that a couple of old men could move, plant, and bury tons of asbestos three feet underground, at night, without anyone seeing them is certifiable! Thanks to your last council, you recently named your City Hall after a self-confessed certifiable liar who claimed to have pictures of Marco residents doing so ... and finally confessed that no such pictures existed!)
Asbestos has no half life. Whatever remains in Veterans Park (and along Collier Boulevard) is there forever. Your past councils, aided and abetted by your past two City Managers and their "staffs," with the approval of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Jon Iglehart, Director, Lisa Douglass, Ombudsman, Sherrill Culiver, asbestos inspector, permitted Quality Enterprises to serve as the prime mover and cause this disaster. Some council members acted through ignorance, others through arrogance, and others possibly with evil intent.
The toothpaste is out of the tube and you can't put it back. Marco Island is stuck with the consequences of what these people have done. If you can separate those of evil intent from the ignorant and stupid, the evil doers should be punished. Clearly, those who were responsible to protect the public and could rightfully be presumed to have the knowledge to do so are guilty of misfeasance if not malfeasance. The list starts with Quality Enterprises, followed by the city staff responsible for the project, the FDEP inspectors, and the City Managers who aided and abetted in a cover-up.
That said, the best approach now is to leave the stuff buried. Don't disturb the sleeping dragon. As long as it is ALL buried and REMAINS buried, it is not harmful to anyone. But don't forget that some asbestos likely remains under the surface. Treat Collier Boulevard and Veterans' Park as low-level hazardous-waste dumps and take adequate measures (continuous watering, etc.) when digging there for any reason in the future.
Ed FosterFormer Marco Resident &Former Chairman, C.A.R.E.S., Inc.
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