The Arco dump as it appeared in summer 2017. Photo by Eric Sandy
The cleanup of Arco's illegal dump site in East Cleveland will be finished sometime in February, state officials told Ideastream.
While that's certainly welcome progress, the cost has now ballooned to $9 million from an initial $6 million estimate
. Arco was shut down by state order last year.
Noble Road residents had long complained about the mountain of debris
— for three years, in fact — before anyone really listened. City officials claimed there weren't any environmental hazards, though anyone within sniffing distance of the site would be overwhelmed by sulfuric fumes. Indeed, when investigators visited the site they noted the presence of asbestos, and an independent consultant found hydrogen sulfide, fiberglass, concrete dust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chromium and various other toxins lining the outside of houses near the facility.
Air quality tests conducted recently showed nothing above federal air quality standards. State Senator Kenny Yuko told Ideastream he'd like to see long-term monitoring of residents' health, but local and state officials say there's no need and thus not in their plans.
"Are we done done? No, because we have to figure out what kind of damage was done," Yuko said.