Whirlpool says former park tests OK

Whirlpool Corp. released findings Thursday from a site assessment done at the former Whirlpool Park and the assessment shows there is no health risk and no evidence of hazardous illegal dumping at the site.

According to a release from Whirlpool, the assessment was done under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in order to determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the site.

The testing began in May and 328 samples were tested for 232 chemical compounds.

According to the release, the testing found no PCBs or man-made chemicals in groundwater samples. Samples containing PCBs above the level the EPA considers safe for residential areas were found only in limited areas comprised of fill material near the basketball court and former grist mill, which is consistent with prior sampling by the EPA in the area of the basketball court.

According to the release, only a few other compounds were found to be at or slightly above EPA residential standards. The levels of PCBs and metals found at the site were at concentrations that pose no health risk and are not uncommon for fill dirt used in the 1950s and 1960s. During that time, major improvement s were made at the park.

The testing was prompted after two class-action lawsuits were filed this year on behalf of several families in the Clyde-Green Springs area claiming toxic waste dumped at the park and at other dump sites led to illnesses and death.

One lawsuit was filed in Sandusky County and is asking for more than $750 million. The other, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo, is seeking more than $5 million.

According to the release, the park was purchased by Whirlpool in 1953 for use as a park for employees and their families and friends. The park was closed in 2006 due to declining use and it was bought by a private owner in 2008.