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EPA continues toxic chemical cleanup in Slinger

SLINGER — The EPA is in Slinger after the discovery of toxic chemical in an abandoned factory. Officials say it appears neighbors are safe, but some homeowners aren’t ready to relax.

Toby Shickert isn’t too happy about the toxic chemicals stored in Shuttered Factory behind her house. She says, “It’s scary, it’s actually scary. I’ve lived here 27 years, my husband and I. We raised two daughters here. To know those chemicals are behind my yard, what did I expose my children to?”

Crews are still sifting through barrels of chemicals at the old site of niphos coating. Records shows property taxes haven’t been paid for the site since 2007. The EPA started its investigation September 12th. EPA Coordinator Jaime Brown says, “The danger with having chemicals stored, and not being touched is over time, the containers they’re in might degrade.”

Among the materials found inside are copper cyanide, nitric acid and sodium cyanide. Schickert fears some of the chemicals have leaked into the ground. Brown says, “We normally don’t do soil testing unless there’s some evidence or something that leads us to believe that the chemicals got outside, and currently we haven’t seen any evidence to that point.”

The early returns aren’t enough for Schickert, who wants officials to keep neighbors posted. She says, “Don’t push us under the rug. This is way too serious to just be brushed off, and like nothing ever happened here in Slinger.”

The EPA says the owner of the property has cooperated with the investigation. Once the cleanup is complete, the government plans on recouping the cost from that owner.

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