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Crews install Orlando groundwater monitors after large chemical spill

Monitors part of cleanup efforts after tank leaked underground

ORLANDO, Fla. – Crews are installing new monitoring wells in Orlando's Parramore area in order to track their cleanup efforts after chemicals leaked into the soil, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday.

A News 6 viewer snapped photos of crews drilling into Robinson Street last week, just one block away from the former Orlando Gasification Plant Site.

That's where environmental investigators said a 500-gallon leaded gas tank leaked chemicals in 1995.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the site housed an operation for 80 years that heated coal to produce gas for cooking.

Now, state and federal environmental agencies are working to clean up the site and prevent more contamination.

"I was very concerned because it was the second time I saw drilling in my community," said Lawanna Gelzer, who took the pictures of the drilling crews.

Gelzer said she fears the chemicals are now causing health problems in the Parramore area.

"As a child care provider for 40 years, we've had children coming in here with brain cancer," she said. "They survived. We've had several kids with major, major respiratory issues."

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FDEP spokeswoman Ashley Gardner confirmed to News 6 that the crew drilling on Robinson Street was connected to the site cleanup.

"The monitoring wells being installed are to take groundwater samples for analysis of petroleum contaminants of concern," she said in a statement.

Drinking water has not been affected by the site.

Officials say the Parramore area gets their drinking water from a public supply, not groundwater.

The current cleanup process is expected to continue through November.


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