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Whirlpool Park agreement will allow testing to go forward

Tom Jackson • Dec 5, 2012 at 5:22 AM

Paperwork is still being drawn up, but Whirlpool officials and an attorney for the former park’s current owners both confirmed a verbal agreement has been reached.

Preliminary tests carried out earlier this year by the U.S. EPA showed the presence of the carcinogenic substances.

Whirlpool officials and families involved in the Clyde Cancer Cluster had both agreed that further testing is needed to learn the extent of the problem, and the U.S. EPA has promised to supervise further testing by Whirlpool.

Thomas Bowlus, a Fremont attorney representing the company that now owns Whirlpool park, announced the agreement late Friday afternoon. Whirlpool confirmed that Monday.

“We have a verbal agreement with the landowner and we’re currently working on the written agreement,” said Whirlpool spokeswoman Kristine Vernier.

Vernier said it’s too early to say when tests will be carried out but Whirlpool is eager to begin.

“We would move very quickly as soon as we get the paperwork signed,” she said.

Bowlus said the agreement was hammered out during a meeting Thursday between the two sides.

“As a result of this deal, Whirlpool will have access to the site to conduct an investigation and to characterize the site, find out what’s there,” he said. “They will be employing their own certified professional who will be taking samples and sending them off to certified laboratories.

“We will have our own certified professional also involved to kind of make sure, as a second opinion, to make sure they are done the way we want them to be done.  They will be sharing split samples with us. They will be run by a second laboratory, and confirmed.

“We feel that this is going to lead to a full characterization of the site, and that it’s going to be done in a proper way, with accurate data.”

Bowlus represents Grist Mill LLC, which owns the site. Jonathan Abdoo, one of Grist Mill’s owners, had planned to build a house on the site. Those plans were put on hold after Abdoo discovered a few weeks ago that U.S. EPA sponsored testing revealed contamination at the site, Bowlus said.


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