Former Landfill Now a Home

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Back in the 60's and 70's local industries used to dump cleaning chemicals in a Springfield landfill. Years later a developer built Town & Country Estates on top of that landfill. Now, homeowners say the decades-old dump is threatening their health and their investment, and they want help.

Residents gathered here say they want to know why no one told them about the landfill underneath their homes before they moved into the neighborhood.

"When I bought my house, it wasn't disclosed that it was on a landfill. We weren't lied to, but we weren't told. Everyone from the mayor on down says everyone always knew about the landfill. I didn't live here. I was from out of state,” says concerned resident, Gary Johnson.

The two neighbors that organized this meeting also have deep concerns about possible health hazards and their property values.

"We don't know what to do. We're very concerned about the toxins in the soil. We're just not really getting the answers," says Dan Undieme, meeting organizer.

"This is where we planned to live the rest of our lives and now with the contamination, we don't know how long we're going to be here. I most certainly wouldn't want my grandkids to come here and live in this house," adds Tomas Quiones-Martines, also a meeting organizer.

The state's Department of Environmental Protection has been sampling water and soil, but residents want more from government leaders and agencies.

Sharron Brown from Rep. Allan Bense's offices says the problem began long before DEP was even formed.

"It was an unregulated landfill and so there were no records kept on it, and then after time someone bought the property and built a subdivision, so I don't know what happened."

Town & Country residents will meet again in early August. The community is made up of 80 to 100 homeowners. Many are from out of state.


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