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City Leaders Concerned About Dangerous Toxins Migrating Toward Raleigh Lake

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said Tuesday that he is seriously concerned about a report on tainted soil at Lake Crabtree and that he wants something done promptly.

In a press conference, along with Wake County Commission Chair Joe Bryan, Meeker announced he and Bryan are forming a joint task force to determine why dangerous toxins, specifically polychlorinated biphenyls, have not been cleaned up 25 years after the federal government was first made aware of them.

Investigators have found the cancer-causing toxin, which leaked from a Ward transformer site near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, to be migrating downstream toward Lake Crabtree.

Meeker and Bryan said that they had always thought something was being done to clean up the chemical and that they were alarmed when they found out no actions had yet been taken.

They hope by having the task force, and making it a priority between the city and the county, that they can pressure the Environmental Protection Agency, the state and Ward Tranformer Sales & Service, Inc., which was responsible for the transformer site, to move quickly.

The site, which is slated for cleaning, is on a federal list, but no timetable has been set.

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency said that when it looked at the site 25 years ago, the levels of PCBs were not alarming so cleanup was not a priority. However, the agency said it is "fiercely negotiating" with Ward to see who should pay for the clean-up.

Bryan and Meeker are asking that the task force report back to them in 30 days.


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