Texas officials say that an elementary school opening in the Leander district on the site of a former chemical company is safe, but that the groundwater on the property needs to be tested before the school opens in the next year. Officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality say the tests are necessary to determine whether harmful vapors found at the 40-acre site had reached the water, 70 to 80 feet below. Until 2003, a chemical company operated a research and development facility on the site, using chemicals to produce products such as shampoos and soaps.
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EARLIER: Leander (Texas) district officials have delayed opening an elementary school that was set to open this fall inside a former chemical company facility. They now say January is the earliest that Grandview Hills Elementary in Northwest Austin will open. Officials blame mold in the school's walls for the delay, as well as permit issues with the city of Austin and construction delays caused by rain. (Austin American-Statesman)
An elementary school opening in the Leander (Texas) district on the site of a former chemical company has been deemed safe by an environmental engineering firm. The firm is recommending that the elementary school, which opens this fall, be tested periodically for a a year. Parents raised safety concerns about the 40-acre site, which was previously used as a research and development facility that worked with chemicals used to produce household products. Some parents feared harmful chemicals used on the site, such as mercury and cancer-causing benzene, could be lingering. But officials with the engineering firm, Weston Solutions, say the site is safe; tests found only one chemical, in a very small amount, that appears to be left over from the chemical company.(Austin American-Statesman)
New tests have found dangerous chemicals in very small amounts at a proposed site of an elementary school in the Leander (Texas) district, but officials say the site is safe and will be subject to continued testing. The site in Northwest Travis County was formerly owned by a chemical company. The tests show mercury and benzene are present in low amounts. Some parents want reassurance that the school would not open until agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency signed off on the safety of the site. (Austin American-Statesman)
Expert opinions are mixed about the safety of a former chemical company site where a Leander (Texas) district elementary school is set to open this fall, and about the speed at which the district bought the land. Parents have raised safety questions about the former research and development facility operated by Sasol North America Inc., where chemicals such as the cancer-causing agent benzene were used. The facility produced chemicals used in household products such as shampoos and soaps. The largest building on the site will be renovated and used for the school. Initial testing of the site found no harmful amounts of chemicals. (Austin American-Statesman)