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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Local ISD to Cleanse Arsenic-Laced Soil

City, Education

View of one of Garland ISD's campuses where elevated levels of arsenic were detected. | Image by NBC5 DFW

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Garland ISD plans to clean up one of its campuses after sampling revealed high arsenic levels in the soil.

Paul Gonzales, Garland ISD’s Executive Director of Facilities & Maintenance, addressed a letter to the school’s families on June 3. He announced that a cleanup would take place this summer on the Sam Houston Middle School campus following soil assessments performed by consulting engineering firm Terracon.

The results were published in a March 30, 2022, Limited Soil Sampling Report. Seven of the 119 assessment grids examined had arsenic concentrations above the cleanup levels, while none had lead concentrations above cleanup levels.

Garland ISD immediately contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to inform them of the Terracon report’s findings and potential health risks. Immediate health danger does not exist, according to a recent discussion with Terracon and TDSHS regarding the Sam Houston MS soil assessment results.

Previously, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Garland Independent School District (GISD), and Terracon completed soil assessment and cleanup activities at Park Crest Elementary School.

“I’m pleased that Garland is being proactive in the testing and the remediation of the soil,” said long-time Garland resident Stephen Yearout, a former Sam Houston student. “We need to make sure that future generations can come here and buy their starter homes and enjoy Sam Houston and Park Crest and enjoy the fields that are here like I did when I was a kid,” he added.

On Tuesday, June 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., Garland ISD hosted a community meeting at the middle school. If you missed the meeting or have any questions or concerns about pollutants or environmental contamination, contact the district at environmental@garlandisd.net

It is not known why the soil at the middle school has such high arsenic levels. However, the district’s consultants claim that some arsenic is likely to occur naturally in the soil in this area. It is also possible that some of it seeped from arsenic-based pesticides used on the soil in the past.    

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