Residents want information about pollution in Leon Creek
Web Posted: 08/24/2007 01:55 AM CDT
Protestors say city health officials are taking too long to react to pollution in Leon Creek. They say the remnants of contamination at Kelly AFB are flowing into the creek, and they want more information from the city.
Studies in 2006 showed heavy metals, like mercury, and contaminants, like polychlorinated biphenyls, were found in Lower Leon Creek's water and its fish.
"People still do go fishing and swimming, yet they have no idea that the creek is contaminated," said Sandra Garcia, who lives near Leon Creek.
"We've met people who've been baptized in Leon Creek," said Lara Cushing, with the Southwest Workers Union.
Now, neighbors want to know, where are the official warning signs?
"We ended up putting up these signs, since Metro Health's not doing it, we ended up doing it ourselves," Garcia said.
The Southwest Workers Union took it upon themselves to educate people in the area, like residents who recently dealt with floodwater from the toxic stream.
"Metro Health needs to be out there doing testing. Is there a health risk from this water that's been shown over and over to contain contaminants?" Cushing asked.
Though the contamination is decades old, the protest may be two months too early. Beginning in October, the state has plans for further fish studies and creek bed sampling.
"And then, wait to see what this report shows. You know, as we collect those samples both through fish and the sediments. Maybe they will provide some new information," said Dr. Fernando Guerra, director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The city has done some remediation helped by state and federal money. Officials said they should have a cleanup plan in place by January 2008.
Note: the testing MetroHealth is referring to, will only test inside the base, where biannual test are already done. The plan is flawed by design as they continue to waste money and fail to protect the community.
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People who live along Leon Creek said the city isn't doing enough to protect them from toxins. Protesters lined up outside the San Antonio Metro Health District demanding answers and results. They said Air Force studies prove the creek is toxic, but people still swim in the creek and eat fish from the creek because the city has not cautioned them against it. They also said toxic creek water has flooded homes in the area and people need to know how to protect themselves. Metro Health Director, Dr. Fernando Guerra said results from the latest round of tests on the creek are expected next month. Meanwhile, people worried about their health can contact Metro Health for screenings.