NHC assistant superintendent advises to shut down field

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A report was drafted in December that outlines test results on the soil and groundwater near Castle Hayne Elementary and Holly Shelter Middle schools.

The results published to the New Hanover County School's website show concentrations of arsenic that exceed the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources Standards were found on the baseball fields and right next to the school building.

Click here for test results

Though drinking water at the school is fine, WECT has obtained an email from the assistant superintendent of operations for NHC schools to county school officials from Tuesday morning at 9:00 recommending a field be closed until further testing is done.

The email reads:

We will also be doing some additional testing in this area to determine the extent of the contaminant.  In the meantime, we have recommended as a precaution closing the field.

Castle Hayne Elementary Principal Margaret Dickens assured parents Wednesday that EPA consultants said there was no reason to worry about health concerns.

Also written in the email:

One area of concern is we detected contaminants in the elementary school playground that are typically found in diesel fuel.

Click here to read the email

Children are still allowed to play outside on the playground during recess, but are being kept off a soccer field behind the school building.

Principal Dickens said school officials have no plans to close Castle Hayne Elementary at this time.  She sent a letter home to parents Wednesday explaining they will continue to investigate the soil and groundwater, but never mentioned closing the field.

Click here to read the letter sent home

Dickens also attached a fact sheet that told parents that "concentrations of arsenic were slightly above the preliminary soil remediation goals and the protection of groundwater soil established by the NCDENR."

They also told parents additional testing is expected to be complete within the next two weeks.

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