The Closing Of The "Point" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/09/05

The Closing Of The "Point"

More testing on Pascagoula Point soil in needed to find out how much pollution is there. As WLOX reported last Friday, the city closed the popular fishing spot and boat launch after traces of dioxins and other substances were found. Aside from the occasional walker, the once busy section of Beach Drive leading to the Point much quieter.

The City put up barricades to keep people out, after traces of dioxins and several other materials were found in the soil. "The city has not been notified as to what other compounds were discovered," says Councilman At Large Matthew Avara. Northrop Grumman... which owns the land... has already done more testing. Those samples are being reviewed by the Department of Environmental Quality. And the DEQ plans additional testing of its own. "We have no indication that there are any extremely hazardous or dangerous substances that have been found we just felt it was prudent for public safety," says Avara. Avara says the small amounts of dioxins found at the Pointe by Northrop Grumman were in isolated areas and posed no real threat to people or the environment. As for the unidentified substances, Avara says if they did pose any potential risks the company would have notified city leaders.

But still, Avara says city officials decided to close the Pointe temporarily as a precautionary measure and to allow for additional testing and the removal of any undesirable materials. "We're hopeful that within the next couple of weeks we can get the facility back open," says Avara. Avara says he's been told the substances, of concern, aren't deep in the soil... and shouldn't be difficult to clean up. 

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