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Okeechobee muck is high in pesticides

THE NATION | Nation in Brief | FLORIDA

July 09, 2007|From Times News Reports

Scientists have found elevated levels of arsenic and other pesticides in thousands of truckloads of muck scooped from the bottom of Lake Okeechobee.

Taking advantage of a drought, state water and wildlife managers are removing muck from the 730-square-mile lake to return its bottom to a more natural sandy base and create better habitat for plants and wildlife.

Arsenic levels in the northern part of the lakebed were as much as four times the limit for residential land, tests revealed. "We are evaluating how and where we dispose of it ... so we don't create a new problem someplace else," said Chip Merriam, a South Florida Water Management District official.

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