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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS

Fountain Valley

May 06, 1999|Ellen McCarty, (714) 965-7172, Ext. 14

Contamination concerns have delayed the Orange County Planning Commission's vote on a proposed $8-million expansion of Mile Square Regional Park's golf course. Commissioners at a recent meeting raised questions about the possibility of soil contamination, an issue not addressed in the park's environmental report, Commissioner Tom Moody said. "I went over to the site . . . and it was clear to me that it was contaminated," he said.

Moody said nothing grows around the asphalt runway used by model plane enthusiasts, not even weeds, and there is a hard substance below a half-inch layer of top soil. He said the apparent contamination dates from the 1960s, when the runways were used by helicopters for touch-and-go landings.

Rich Adler, a county senior planner, said federal and county studies of the site conducted in 1991, before the county purchased the land, did not find soil contamination. The county's Department of Public Facilities and Resources, however, will retest the park's soil this week. If contamination is found, the environmental report will be revised to include cleanup measures, a project that could delay the expansion of the golf course indefinitely, Moody said.

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